Psychiatrist: How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions
Making New Year’s resolutions is easy. Sticking with them is hard.
Dr. Carol Olson, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Maricopa Integrated Health System, offers tips to help you increase your chances of keeping those resolutions in 2018.
- Make a public declaration. By letting others know about your resolution, you can enlist support. It’s easier to keep your diet resolution if family members are there to support you – even better is when your resolution inspires them to do the same and you can support each other!
- Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting unrealistic expectations. For example, losing 20 pounds in two weeks is not only unattainable, it’s unhealthy. Pick a more realistic goal, say one pound every week or two.
- Determine how you will achieve your goal. Are you going to hire a trainer? Go on a specific diet? Eat out less? Without a plan, your chances of success are much smaller.
- Reward yourself for your efforts. Even those with the strongest will power will succumb to temptation if they view abiding by a resolution as being constantly deprived. Build in some positive rewards. If your resolution is to exercise, build in a reward of wearing new exercise clothing, or going for a coffee (or other low calorie treat) after your exercise session.
- Take action! Just by taking small steps, you can feel a sense of achievement. Half the challenge of a resolution is mustering up the energy to get started. By turning your idea or goal into the tiniest of actions, you may feel like you’ve already implemented your resolution.