How Achievable the Most Common New Year’s Resolutions Really Are

In the spirit of setting achievable goals, we asked therapists to weigh in, grading them on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being “very attainable” and 5 being “very difficult”). See what they had to say:

 1. Losing Weight

Losing weight requires a fairly good understanding of nutrition and calorie intake. Without structured goals, it’s my experience that people do well for two or three months, but then revert back to their previous lifestyle and gain the weight back throughout the year. Grade: 3/5.-Ryan Kelly, a psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina

 2. Get Organized

Good habits are best built upon one another in small, easily achievable steps. If you want to get more organized, choose one tiny organizational skill you can do for five minutes a day until you’ve mastered it. Grade: 1/5.―Amanda Stemen, a therapist in Los Angeles, California

 3. Spend More Time with Family and Friends

This one is very doable with some planning and intentionality to follow through. Get started by picking one person a month to reach out to, and then be the one who initiates and plans the get together. Grade: 2/5.―Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling for men

 4. Learn a New Skill or Take Up a New Hobby

As long as you’re not a perfectionist about this one, it’s achievable. Phrase the goal as “time spent on a new hobby” so it doesn’t feel like you haven’t made progress when you practice tennis an hour a week and still miss the ball half the time. Grade: 3/5.―Marie Land, a psychologist in Washington, D.C.

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