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Dr. Deborah Rouse-Raines: Breaking New Year's Resolutions

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As many as 80% of people that made resolutions for 2009 will break them and most don’t make it through the end of January. How do you get back on the wagon if you have broken your New Year resolutions?

Welcome to the club. Most people in order to change a habit will have to fail many times before it becomes a part of their new lifestyle. Relapse is a part of recovery as they say In Alcoholics Anonymous. The important thing is once you experience a small set back, don’t say, “Well I blew it,” and throw in the towel until next year.

What the biggest mistake that people make with resolutions?
People will often set unrealistic and nonspecific goals. I want to lose weight, spend less, quit smoking. You need a plan so research the best way to do what you are trying to accomplish then..
Break it down
Break the goal down into baby steps that are easily achievable. If you smoke 20 cigarettes, cut back by two. Don’t try to lose 100 pounds all at once. Try for the first 5 or don’t focus on the pounds at all instead…

Frame it in the Positive
Don’t think about what you are giving up. If you feel deprived or like a martyr then eventually you will overinduldge. The problem is not with the first thing that you may slip up on but the continued mistakes that follow self-loathing when you feel like a failure.
Focus on what you can do. I will drink 4 glasses to water today. I will walk 3 times this week. I will focus on eating 2 fruits today. Whatever the goal keep it small and attainable. Keep track of the baby steps, cross it off on a calendar. Mark it on a paper. Seeing is believing and that will give you confidence.

Find Your Foes
If you have broken your promise then you know what doesn’t work. If you have a friend that you spend too much with, maybe think of a different activity other than going to the mall with that person. Be assertive and tell someone. I am trying to be healthy, and I really can’t go to an all you can eat buffet with you right now. Some may not like the new healthy you and will try to sabotage your efforts. Be aware.

Use the Buddy System
Surround your self with positive people who want to help accomplish your goals.

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