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How to set realistic expectations in 2021

Experts say it's important to set specific goals, but not too many goals to best make a change.

MAINE, USA — New Year, new you?

Many people make resolutions each year, but as a challenging year ends, experts say it's important to go easy on yourself in 2021.

"Change is hard," Julie Quimby from Psychology Specialists of Maine said.

Change can be challenging and we've seen a lot of it this year.

"I think that 2020 brought with it so much unexpected change and things we couldn't control," Quimby added.

Now, many people are taking the new year as an opportunity to make changes they can control. Whether that be getting in shape, eating better, saving money, or reaching a new career goal. But as one of the most challenging years in recent history comes to an end, experts say to be realistic and set specific goals.

For example, instead of saying your goal is to have a healthier lifestyle, "I want to improve my diet by eating a piece of fruit every day and having eight glasses of water," Quimby said.

Quimby added that it's important to ask yourself if this is the right time to be pursuing your goals.

"Be fair with yourself about what kind of changes you want to focus on," she said.

She adds it's important to not set too many goals, but instead to focus on just one or a few.

"It's helpful to choose just one area and really put your focus on it and trust there would be a ripple effect on that," she said.

So whatever goals you choose, be patient with yourself.