Are you thinking about making a few New Year’s resolutions, but doubting you’ll keep them? You’re not alone. Thirty-one percent of people who made resolutions last year didn’t stick to any of them, according to a New Year’s study.
Don’t give up. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, get in better shape, stay in better touch with family and friends, quit smoking or drinking, or have another goal in mind, there are simple strategies you can adopt to stick with your plan.
Health Matters spoke with Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychoanalyst and assistant attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, to get some advice on how to stay the course.
“It is very difficult to make real change, and it requires true desire to do so and then the willpower to stick with it,” says Dr. Saltz. She adds it also takes “resilience to fall down and get back up again, and sometimes an objective outside party to see your blind spots thwarting your efforts at change.”
Here, Dr. Saltz gives five tips for making resolutions — and keeping them.
1. Own up to what needs to be changed.
You can’t make change if you can’t acknowledge you need it. We are too hung up on being good versus bad — and no one wants to be bad, so they keep telling themselves they don’t really need to change in the first place. Instead of bad, think human. We all have our battles, and you need to identify yours in order to make a plan and stick with it.