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Why your resolution can be more attainable by setting shorter goals

Health changes are best achieved in two-week increments, according to Houston Methodist Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Nicole Bartek.

Here are some healthy resolutions she recommends and the timing to achieve them.


Do you want to exercise more?

Sounds nice.

What’s nicer is a more specific (read: attainable) goal. For example, setting a goal of attending two new exercise classes in a month.

“If you’re like ‘hey my goal is to try two new exercise classes a month’… then you can say I really like this one, so I want to go to three of those next month,” Bartek said.


Learning a new language may take time to measure progress.

Bartek said to put a plan in place and check in every two weeks to see if you’re on track to meeting your goal.


Bartak says don’t start doing this every day. Feeling like you have to do something every single day is a fast track to burnout.

Try adding this healthy habit in a couple times a week then increase it to a few times in two weeks. Adding to this habit in small increments is a better recipe for long-term success.

“Then you start to build up and then it does become a habit where you’re like, ‘Oh, I actually am a person who just takes my multivitamin every morning.’” Bartek said. “If you say you’re taking it every day for the rest of your life, that is a surefire way to say you’re not going to start.”


Losing weight can be dependent on genetics, stress, and many other factors.

Bartek doesn’t recommend making that a resolution because it can come at a cost of hurting your mental health when focusing too much on the scale.

Instead, focus on building a health habit around diet or exercise (again, be specific to improve your health).

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