Creating New Year’s Resolutions and Sticking to Them

Some say it takes 21 days to form a habit and just one day to break it. The truth is that most New Year’s resolutions don’t last through the month of January. While sticking to a new, healthier habit can be challenging, there are some tips that may help.

How to make

your resolutions stick

Introducing a big goal that requires a drastic change in your lifestyle on day one can be overwhelming and is usually difficult to sustain over time. It is also demotivating when results are less than the outcomes desired.

To achieve success in resolutions, try the S.M.A.R.T. method. It’s best to plan and set small goals throughout the year; these goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Setting small, achievable goals relevant to the overall resolution can help individuals track success as the year progresses. For example, if the resolution is to lead a heathier lifestyle, set smaller goals that will help achieve the overarching goal, like cutting out sodas, choosing healthier food options more regularly, and visiting the gym once, twice, or three times per week. As these goals are met, the frequency and intensity can be adjusted to grow your commitment, moving you through milestones at a pace that is right for you.

Acknowledging the small wins can boost confidence and create motivation to continue to stick to the plan. 

Most importantly, on days when temptations are too strong, reward your accomplishments by doing something you enjoy and continue to move forward. 

Angela Guerra is an MD of family medicine at Kelsey Seybold Clinic in Baytown.

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