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New Year’s Resolutions – 7 tips to make yours stick

September 21, 2023
2 minutes

Sometimes it seems like New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a lot you can do to make your resolutions stick.

All of the following tips have one common thread: Be realistic—in both your goal-setting and goal-achieving behaviors. By keeping your resolutions firmly grounded in reality, you have a better chance of holding to them throughout the year.

Try these seven tips for making your resolutions stick:

1. Start small. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier foods, begin by enjoying fruit for dessert instead of ice cream or cake. Once you’ve become accustomed to that change, pick another healthy substitution to tackle.

2. Change one behavior at a time. Quitting smoking, losing weight and exercising more—these are great resolutions. But don’t try to do them—or other tough ones—all at the same time. Pick one to focus on.

3. Seek support. If you can, find someone who shares your same goals and take the resolution journey together. Share your experiences with family and friends. Or join a support group. You don’t need to do this alone.

4. Wait it out. The urge to eat a piece of cake or smoke a cigarette may be strong, but it will pass. Distract your brain with some other activity until the urge fades.

5. Talk kindly to yourself. Did you slip up and break a resolution? Don’t beat yourself up. It’s perfectly normal to make mistakes. Imagine what you’d say to a friend who did the same thing. Give yourself a break.

6. Try, try again. If you fall back into bad habits, dust yourself off and get back on that horse. Nowhere is it written that missteps equal total failure.

7. Figure out where you went wrong. Did you stop exercising because you’re too tired after work? Move your activity to the morning instead. Did you wait too long between meals to eat, then scarfed down some less-than-healthy food? Keep nutritious snacks on hand to get you through the day.

Sources: American Psychological Association; Mental Health America

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