Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

This is a great time of year to break old bad habits, or start new, healthy habits. The prospect of a new year makes many people feel like it would be easier to make a fresh start and is a lot like a "clean slate". It's a great time to reassess what you've been doing, and get rid of what is bad, or what doesn't serve you. These are often referred to as “New Year’s resolutions”.

Many people think they are silly because they ask the question: “Why wait for the new year to make an improvement?” or they think: “I'll just fall off the wagon by February, anyway.” Both of these thoughts are true. You don't have to wait until January 1st to make life changes, and only about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually see them through. Luckily, there are many different ways to make sure you can stick to them.

The most common of the New Year’s resolutions are to quit smoking, or to get in shape. There are many others, such as to quit drinking alcohol, or to just stop eating junk food and make healthier food choices. The common denominator to these things is to start living a healthier lifestyle.

General Tip #1: Slowly ease out of old bad habits.

If you are used to getting your meals on the go from fast food joints, it might be hard to quit cold turkey. Weaning you off of things like soda and high calorie coffee drinks are a good idea. You might be able to resist them for about a week cold turkey, but you'll get a craving and go right back to them in no time. Quitting can be a long process, so start doing them less and less. You'll find that after a while, you'll want them less and less.

General Tip #2: Slowly ease into new good habits.

If you want to get in shape, you can't jump into an advanced 30 minute cardio routine 5 times per week if you're out of shape. First, you should get advice from your doctor if you any health issues. He or she can also give you advice on how to get started, if you haven't worked out in a long time. You could also join a gym a get advice from a personal trainer, or go online and research beginners work out routines.

General Tip #3: Reach out for help and support.

Don't be afraid to seek specialized advice, help and support for anything you're trying to do, or stop doing. If you're working on quitting smoking, you can get in touch with a non-smokers support group or hotlines. You can join an online forum for those interested in healthy lifestyles, or you can just talk to people at your local gym. Just like with Alcoholics Anonymous, support groups can be a huge help because you can get guidance and encouragement from people with the same goals.

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