Resolution revolution: Writer teaches how to keep your 2017 goals

Don’t give up!: Brooklyn journalist Jennifer Mattson will share her secrets for keeping New Year’s resolutions past Jan. 2 during a class at Brooklyn Brainery.
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Your 2017 New Years resolution: Keep your 2017 New Years resolution.

Trade in that long list of long shots for a shorter and more manageable one — and learn what it takes to actually check off an item or two — during “New Year’s Resolutions: How to make and keep them” at the Brooklyn Brainery on Jan. 3 and 6. Brooklyn journalist Jennifer Mattson will share her secrets for maintaining those Jan. 1 goals past Jan. 2. Her biggest tip: Trade quantifiable goals for broader objectives, she said.

“Instead of setting a resolution, try to set an intention to get better results. Losing weight is the common, so instead of saying ‘I want to lose 10 pounds,’ your intention could be, ‘I want to be healthier’ or ‘I want to have a healthier relationship with my weight,’ ” said Mattson, who lives in Boerum Hill. “The reason that works is the first approach is about sacrifice, will power, and control. And the second way of looking at it is based on acceptance, and it puts you in a different place mentally — an approach that’s more to your pleasure and an easier way to lose weight.”

Research shows that 88 percent of people fail to fulfill their resolutions because they set such strict and lofty goals instead of caring about what it actually means to achieve them, the scribe said.

Some get discouraged if they lapse on their plan for even a day, but the secret is not giving up after you stumble, said Mattson.

“People who usually are unable to meet their resolutions or goals get really overwhelmed and they miss that day, and that day usually spirals into multiple days. The problem is they have an all-or-nothing approach,” she said.

One of Mattson’s own resolutions is to meditate more, but instead of setting unreachable expectations to do so for an hour every day, she sets aside just 10 minutes a day to take deep breaths, she said.

It’s all about “breaking it down into doable, smaller parts and not trying to take on too much,” said Mattson.

Resolutions don’t only need to be made around the holidays, but a new year is always a great time to start, said Mattson, who also teaches classes in how to get unstuck while writing.

“People really want to achieve their goals, and they just don’t know how, so I love being able to help them, and I love being able to help people figure out things like productivity, and resolutions, and goals,” she said. “And I love New Years for that reason — because it’s a great time to start fresh.”

“New Year’s Resolutions: How to make and keep them” at Brooklyn Brainery [190 Underhill Ave. between Sterling and St. Johns places in Prospect Heights, (347) 292–7246,]. Jan. 3 at 6:30 pm, Jan. 6 at 5 pm. $22.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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