Happy New Year! It’s that time of the year again when we
all promise to eat better, start exercising or kick our bad
Here are some tips on how to stick to your New Year’s
- Don't make your resolution on
New Year's Eve. If you wait until the last minute, your decisions
will be based on your mindset on that particular day. Instead, your
New Year's resolution should be planned well before December 31
arrives. If it's already too late for planning to start January
1st, pick another date -- February 1st
or your birthday
-whatever date is meaningful for you.
Outline Your Plan -
Decide how you will
deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have one
more cigarette. This could include calling on a friend for
help, or practicing positive thinking and self-talk.
Make a "Pro" and "Con" List
- It may help
to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong.
Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it.
Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping
Talk About It
keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who
will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the
better or improve your health. The best case scenario is to find
yourself a buddy who shares your New Year's resolution and motivate
- This doesn't mean that
you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to
diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to
something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution.
If you've been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example,
perhaps your reward could be going to a movie with a friend.
Track Your Progress
- Keep track of each
small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term
goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep
you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, say, focus
on losing that first 5.
Don't Beat Yourself Up
- Obsessing over the
occasional slip won't help you achieve your goal. Do the best you
can each day, and take each day one at a time.
Stick To It
- Experts say it takes about 21
days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and
6 months for it to become part of your personality. Your new
healthful habits will become second-nature in no time.
- If your resolution has
totally run out of steam by mid-February, don't despair. Start over
again! There's no reason you can't make a "New Year's resolution"
any time of