How to Set New Year's Resolutions and Stick With Them

Dec 29, 2023

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Sticking to New Year's resolutions can be challenging, but with some thoughtful planning and commitment, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you stick to your resolutions:

We see it every year. You probably set your New Year's resolution thinking “I’m going to read more”, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds”, or “I’m going to eat more vegetables”. All of those goals are not inherently bad, but they are all flawed. The issue with these resolutions is the lack of trackability, realisticness, and measurability. How can you fix that? with the SMART goals.


What are SMART goals? 

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound, and is the basic foundation of creating better resolutions that you can conquer. By setting SMART goals you can improve your overall lifestyle, and take 2024 by the horns. 


S: Make Specific Goals: 

Define your goals in clear, specific terms. Instead of vague resolutions like "exercise more," set a specific target, such as "exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week." Being more specific allows you to push yourself harder - and track your progress. It is much easier to slack off on your goals if they are extremely broad. You can also add HOW you are going to achieve your goal within your resolution. Adding “HOW” can help plan for success. 

M: Set Measurable Goals:

You are much more likely to achieve your goals if it is measurable. Setting a New Year's resolution like “I want to be healthier” is way too broad, and hard to measure. Instead you can say “I want to be healthier by walking in the morning for 30 minutes, 3 days a week.” This way your goals are easier to track. 

A: Set Achievable Goals:

Make sure your resolutions are achievable and realistic. Setting overly ambitious goals can set you up for failure. However you don’t want them to be too easy either. Setting easy goals won’t help for your own personal growth. A great example of this occurred on Season 7, episode 13 of “The Office”, when Kevin sets a New Years resolution to “eat more vegetables”. Kevin claimed to have not eaten any vegetables the prior year, and all he had to do was eat one stalk of broccoli to fulfill his New Year’s resolution. When you are setting your resolution, you want to find the middle ground where you are pushing yourself to improve while also being realistic. 

R: Make them Relevant

When setting your goals, make sure they are relevant to your overall objective. When a goal has a purpose It can have a positive impact on your journey. Having goals that are unrelated can distract you from the things that matter. 

T: Set Time-bound Goals

Setting time bound goals allows you to track your progress, and gives you a deadline to push yourself forward. Without a deadline, you're more likely to procrastinate and say “I’ll just do it tomorrow”. 

Examples of excellent New Year’s Resolutions Using SMART GOALS:

  • Rehabilitation Goal: “I want to walk pain free by March 1st, by going to my Physical Therapist 3 days a week and doing my at-home exercises.” 
  • Losing Weight: “I want to lose 10 pounds by March 31st, 2024 by going to the gym 3 days a week, and sticking to a 2200 calorie diet.”
  • Eating Healthier: “I want to have one cup of vegetables every day with dinner, until February 1st, 2024.” 
  • Exercise Goal: “I want to walk 30 minutes before work 3 days a week until June 1, 2024.” 
  • Sales Goal: “I want to hit 100% of my sales goals in Quarter 1 of 2024 by making 30 cold calls every day.”
  • Golfing Goal: “I want to get rid of my slice listening to my golfing instructor and going to the driving range every week from April 1st to June 1st.” 

Once you set your SMART Goals, it is important to prioritize them, and be consistent. Focus on a few key resolutions rather than making a long list. This allows you to concentrate your efforts and increases the likelihood of success. You can break down your resolution into smaller, manageable steps to make it easier. Begin with smaller, achievable steps to build momentum and once you've established a routine, you can gradually increase the difficulty or intensity.

How to Avoid Neglecting Your Resolutions:

  • Celebrate Milestones:
    • Acknowledge and reward yourself for reaching milestones along the way. Celebrating small victories can help maintain your motivation.
  • Find a Support System:
    • Share your resolutions with friends, family, or a support group. Having a support system can provide encouragement and accountability.
  • Adaptability:
    • Be flexible and open to adjusting your goals if necessary. Life is unpredictable, and being adaptable can help you navigate challenges without completely abandoning your resolutions. Don’t give up on your aspirations if you miss a week - keep going. 
    • Remember that setbacks are a normal part of the process. If you slip up, don't be too hard on yourself; instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and refocus on your goals.
  • Stay Positive:
    • Focus on the positive aspects of your journey. If you encounter setbacks, view them as learning opportunities rather than reasons to give up and at the end of next year you’ll be able to see what you have accomplished
  • Establish Habits:
    • Work on turning your resolutions into habits. Consistency is key, and habits are more likely to stick in the long run.
  • Seek Professional Guidance:
    • If your resolutions involve complex or specialized tasks, consider seeking advice from professionals or experts in the field.
    • If you have any pain related needs or goals, our expert specialists at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics can help create a personalized treatment plan for you that can get you back to a pain free life. You can read more about our practice below. 

Whether your goals involve personal growth, health and wellness, career advancement, or relationships, the journey towards positive change is a shared experience! Hopefully using SMART goals can help you conquer your resolutions this year.  HAPPY NEW YEAR and the BEST OF LUCK from your providers at GARDEN STATE PAIN AND ORTHOPEDICS! Here's to a year of growth, resilience, and the pursuit of your dreams.


Who are we?

Garden State Pain & Orthopedics is a team of compassionate physicians who provide the latest in pain management and orthopedic medicine. We are experts in innovative procedures and offer traditional and alternative approaches to pain relief. Garden State Pain Control was founded in 1994 with the goal of providing compassionate and comprehensive pain management to people struggling with acute and chronic pain. In 2022, we officially changed our name Garden State Pain and Orthopedics.  Over the years, the practice has expanded to include 8 doctors, and more than 40 employees with 5 convenient locations in north-east New Jersey. 

Meet our Team:


Dr. Dev Sinha, MD - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. Dev Sinha specializes in pain medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics integrating physical and behavioral therapies, medications, and the most innovative, minimally-invasive procedures. He is available in Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison. 


Dr. Neil Sinha, MD - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. Sinha is especially interested in treating cervical and lumbar pain, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and post-laminectomy syndrome. He also specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of complex regional pain syndrome, facial pain, and headaches. Dr. Neil Sinha is available in Edison, Clifton, Hazlet, and Jersey City, New Jersey.


Dr. Deepan Patel, MD - Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Patel practices in Garden State Pain and Orthopedics’ Jersey City, Clifton, West Orange, and Edison locations and specializes in sports injuries, tendon repairs, joint replacements, arthroscopic surgery, and tends to all injuries related to the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, and ankle. He offers innovative treatment options for common sports-related injuries, including ACL tears, meniscus tears, and labral tears.


Dr. Jahnna Levy, DO - Pain Medicine Physician 

As an osteopathic physiatrist, Dr. Levy believes in a multifaceted and holistic approach to pain management. She treats each person as an individual, formulating a systematic treatment plan to restore function, reduce pain, and improve their quality of life. Along with neck, back, and joint pain, Dr. Levy also treats vein conditions such as varicose veins and spider veins at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics’ locations in West Orange, Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison. 


Dr. Saurabh Dang, MD, MBA - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr Dang offers multiple therapies for the treatment of chronic pain including: Intrathecal drug delivery system implantation, Dorsal Column Spinal Cord Stimulation implantation, Dorsal Root Spinal Cord Stimulation implantation, Insertion of interspinous spacer for spinal stenosis, SI joint arthrodesis, kyphoplasty, minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild procedure) for spinal stenosis, and percutaneous tenotomy among others to treat chronic pain. 


Dr. Dipan Patel, MD - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. Dipan Patel specializes in Botox® for chronic pain disorders, trigeminal neuralgia, temporomandibular joint disorders, and headache and chronic migraine. He also specializes in complex regional pain syndrome, joint pain, and post-laminectomy syndrome at four of our office locations in Edison, Clifton, Hazlet, and Jersey City, New Jersey.


Dr. Andrew So - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. So specializes in neck pain, back pain, spine pain, post-laminectomy syndrome, headache pain, migraine pain, joint pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, neuropathy, acute, and post-surgical pain syndromes, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), amongst others in Clifton, Jersey City, Edison, and West Orange. 


Dr. Scott Hanauer, MD - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Dr. Hanauer is located in Clifton, Jersey City, Edison, and West Orange, and provides treatments for all injuries related to the foot and ankle. Achilles ruptures, bunions, bunionettes, hammertoes, fractures, and ligament reconstruction are commonly treated by Dr. Hanauer. He also specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, including ankle replacement, flat foot and cavus foot reconstruction, and ankle and midfoot fusions.


Tyler Duggan, PA - Pain Medicine Physician Assistant

Tyler Duggan is a nationally certified physician assistant who specializes in pain management. He believes in a multimodal, evidence-based strategy for the treatment of both acute and chronic pain utilizing the most advanced, minimally invasive techniques when necessary. Tyler is located in Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison, New Jersey. 


Matt Jensen, PA - Orthopedic Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant Matt Jenses helps patients with injuries related to the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, and ankle, and works out of Jersey City, Clifton, Edison, and West Orange.





Address: 1117 Route 46 East, Suite 301, Clifton, NJ 07013

Phone: 973-777-5444



Address: 25 South Main Street, Suite 12, Edison, NJ 08837

Phone: 732-376-0330


Jersey City

Address: 631 Grand Street, Suite 2-100, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Phone: 973-777-5444



Address: 226 Middle Road, Suite 4, Hazlet, NJ 07730 

Phone: 732-376-0330 


West Orange

Address: 443 Northfield Ave West Orange, NJ 07052

Phone: 732-376-0330