Keeping a New Year’s resolution

By • Published: January 1st, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Every year, it’s the same promise. On January first, you’re going to stop raiding the cookie jar and finally shed those extra thirty pounds. Then, somehow, a few weeks later you find yourself alone and weak and before you know it, cookie crumbs are flying from your mouth like confetti and bits of gooey macaroon are stuck in your hair.

No one said keeping a New Year’s resolution would be an easy task.

But experts say there are ways to prepare yourself to make healthy life changes, be it January first or September twenty-second.

The first step is to set realistic goals. University of Maryland psychiatrists say setting a huge goal, like dropping sixty pounds, may overwhelm you when it comes time to put your plan into action. Focusing on dropping weight in smaller amounts will allow you to achieve goals more quickly and will reinforce your new habits.

Don’t let minor setbacks derail you, either. Just because those cookies got the best of you one day doesn’t mean you need to scrap all your plans.

Another key to changing a bad habit? Don’t go it alone. Experts advise telling friends what you are doing so they can support you. Also, if you’re trying to kick a serious unhealthy habit like smoking or drinking, you need all the extra help and resources you can get. The site actually has a list of resources for common resolutions, like getting fit and quitting smoking.

And remember New Year’s is not the only date on the calendar. Work on getting healthy one day at a time.