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How to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Mean Something—Advice from Maya Moore

It’s New Year’s Eve, a time for reflection of the year behind us, and a great moment to look ahead to the future. We spoke with our good friend, the talented WNBA star, Maya Moore, about her plans for 2015 and how she stays on track with resolutions in her efforts to continuously improve herself and the community around her.

What is your top New Year’s Resolution, if you have one? Why is that so important to you?

This year I want to continue to grow in creativity and discipline in my nutrition. I'm excited to learn new recipes that will keep me ready for the day ahead. I also want to keep finding more ways to share what I've been given. Whether that's my physical resources, wisdom or time.

Those are obviously some ambitious goals. Do you often set New Year’s  resolutions? How do you stay on top of them?

I do, but I also set goals for myself throughout the year. New Year's resolutions can be a great way of practicing this and setting a vision for the future. Doing this is part of my DNA (thanks, Grandmother Moore!); writing things down, keeping myself accountable, and I've developed a consistent habit of staying organized through a travel-sized planner.

One habit I've established over the last few years is that every time I begin a new year in my planner, I write a Bible verse on the front & other Biblical wisdom on the back. This year my inspirational verse is Psalm 119: 35-37 HCSB version. I think it’s important to find a point of focus like that to keep you inspired and grounded in your resolution so you remember the bigger picture of why it is so important.

Do you have advice for people as they start the New Year and new resolutions?

Sticking with a New Year's Resolution can be very challenging. Keeping any new routine over a long period of time is hard. Here are a few keys I've found to be helpful in goal setting and keeping:

  1. First, have a meaningful goal. If it has meaning to you, you will be more likely to stay motivated over a long period of time.
  2. Make sure your goals are attainable and measurable so you can track progress, but keep in mind all progress can't be charted (for example, the character you're building in the process.)
  3. Loop in supporters. Having others be a part of helping you accomplish your goals can help you stay on track as well. For example if you have nutritional or exercise goals, do that with a group, in-person or virtually, if possible.

It sounds like part of your New Year’s resolution involves healthy eating, which is a common goal for many people. Do you have tips for folks as they embark on health-oriented quests for 2015?

I started making some lifestyle changes in my nutrition a couple seasons ago and there were some key aspects that have helped me start and maintain those habits. Understand the value of the habit you want to develop and as time goes by, occasionally remind yourself of the value of the habit. Take note of how good you feel, or do additional research on the benefits. I had a helpful friend give me a vision of the benefits of some nutritional changes. Then, make sure your goals are attainable in the beginning to give yourself some confidence and momentum. I was challenged to cut out refined sugar for three weeks and once I managed that smaller goal, it gave me confidence to make it a lifestyle (with an occasional splurge day!) I also try to stay connected with other people who have similar goals and we form a community of encouragement and accountability as time goes on.  Sharing highs and lows of your process with safe people is the healthiest way to go.

Can you elaborate a bit on your second resolution of being able to share what you’ve been given? What does it mean for you to give back?

Stepping outside of your comfort zone in a sacrificial way is one of the most surprising ways to find joy and purpose as a person. We all have unique gifts that need to be developed and shared with our communities. Volunteering in your community however big or small is an opportunity to live with more meaning and I'm always thankful for the moments I get to touch another's life for the good.