Realistic resolutions: Goal setting with Linda Stone 

(Cayla Grace Murphy)

CULLMAN, Ala. – In the digital age there is no shortage of “new year, new me” posts circulating in the days following Jan. 1. The new year appears to be an opportunity for a fresh start, to morph into a new person by this time next year. But how does that actually happen? Local life coach Linda Stone offered tips on taking New Year’s resolutions from wants and wishes to real-life wins. 

First, Stone said, actionable steps are key to making resolutions a reality. A resolution is more likely to be fulfilled with a game plan, and a plan of action helps you take personal responsibility for the change you want to see in your own life. 

“Actionable steps put me in the driver’s seat. When I understand that it’s my goal, my responsibility, my job to protect it and make it happen, it empowers me to stick with it,” she explained. “The best way to go from dreaming to making actual changes is to write each goal down and ask yourself these questions: Why do I want this? Whose help do I need to accomplish this? Why is now the right time?” 

Stone maintained that when you have the answers to these few questions, you have the foundation to list out steps to take your goal from a wish to real change. Stone said for bigger lifestyle resolutions, like weight loss or smoking cessation, a support system can be key – but it takes guts sometimes to ask for one. 

“A support system requires courage!” she exclaimed. While asking for support can seem scary at first, identify the type of support you need – verbal, emotional, etc. – and ask the best person in your life for the job. Stone also suggested asking those who have accomplished the same goal you’re gunning for to join your support system to draw inspiration from their wins. 

“Choose someone who is on the other side of the place you are headed and draw from their success,” she smiled. Stone also said it can be advantageous to find camaraderie in the struggle points; while a stall or setback may be inevitable, a stop doesn’t have to be. 

“You can have multiple people in your corner depending on your goals,” she said. “If they can relate to what you are doing, it becomes less about you passing or failing and more about them sharing how they finished the race when quitting feels like an easier option.” 

With all the influence of social media, Stone maintained that the secret sauce to “sticking with it” is making sure your goals are your own, and not influenced by passing trends. 

“Make sure the goals you are setting are your goals. We are surrounded by a tug and pull, a call to change and be like someone else. Be true to yourself and set goals that will get you closer to the person you desire to be!” she smiled. 

For more from Linda Stone, visit  

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