Wellness expert weighs in on how to maintain New Year’s resolutions long-term

ROCKFORD (WREX) — It is one week into 2020 and millions of people across the country are working to keep their new year resolutions; but many are close to giving up already.

According to research conducted by the University of Scranton, 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolution.

While a majority, nearly 80%, fail within two weeks.

One of the biggest factors sited behind the high failure rate — unrealistic expectations.

“Either you can have plans for the month and plans for the year, but if you don’t plan the next day, then you start off early in the morning sometimes already behind,” says Kevin Polky, Founder and President of KP Counseling in Rockford.

Polky says a large part of setting yourself up for success is the art of planning and having accountability with your goals.

“What ends of happening is I’m highly motivated,” says Polky, “the odds are in that third month or that second month, I may not be in the same emotional state as I was when I first started and I can’t rely on that emotion to drive me all the way through.”

One strategy is to create a plan with small tangible milestone.

Polky says you’re more likely to accomplish your overall goals if you hit certain benchmarks along the way.

A strategy that Rockford lawyer Tom Fabiano says he wants to implement in achieve his resolution.

“I want to not to get so stressed out over work and have more of an emotionally balanced life,” says Fabino.

“It’s going to be very difficult for me to do… but I’m just going to keep in mind that I don’t want to be stressed out and hopefully that’ll help.”

Polky also says to try to stick to your resolutions for least 60 days because that’s about how long it takes for a resolution to become habit.

“Any plan is better than no plan,” says Polky.”

“It doesn’t have to be the perfect plan, it just needs to be how you’re going to get started and just start with it one day at a time.”