By Roberta Catuogno

January is the month when we feel the obligatory pull to make resolutions. By definition, there is a feeling of finality attached to these goals – of resolving an immediate issue – and a sense of defeat if we don’t quickly achieve the desired outcome. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something; the quality of being determined or steadfast, or the action of solving a problem.

But what if we were a little kinder to ourselves? The prefix RE means once again. Refresh, Restart, Renew, Recommit. So why not RESOLUTION? Finding a different solution ONCE MORE. Who says just because you put RE in front of a word, you can only do it once? There is nothing that says you can’t reset, restart, renew, recommit multiple times – whether it’s multiple times per day, per week, per month, per MINUTE.

So don’t give up on your resolutions just yet. Be understanding and give yourself some grace. It doesn’t matter if you have to RE-something 10 times a day. The important thing is that you begin anew each and every time and show yourself some compassion.

Still need a little help with your Resolution Renewal? Here are a few tips to get you started on your goal setting:

  • Set smaller goals that are realistic. For example, exercise 30 minutes three times per week. Then, up the goals as you achieve them.
  • Make sure your goals are specific. Don’t just say, ‘I’m going to eat healthier.’ Say, ‘I’m going to eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal.’
  • Let others know about your resolutions. It can help give you the accountability you need to succeed – as well as a cheering squad.
  • Try a health app to track your progress. The data is a good reminder of how far you’ve come, and can also help you see where you need to improve.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate your successes. Lost 5 pounds? Give yourself a small reward. Read 3 new books? Celebrate! Treating yourself with something that doesn’t negate the goal, can help set you up for success.

Roberta Catuogno is the Healthy Living Director at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA. You can reach her at