It’s January 3rd. Have you broken your New Years Resolution? Some people are just starting their resolution today while others have already given up. 80% of people that made resolutions for 2012 will break them and most don’t make it through the end of January. I often don’t make it past January 1st and while I used to feel defeated and beat myself for yet another failure., I’ve learned that failure can be a good, even necessary, thing when it comes to making (and keeping) long term changes.

Dr. Deb’s Resolution Solutions

1. Break It Down

Break the goal down into baby steps that are easily achievable. People will often set unrealistic and nonspecific goals. Don’t think about losing 100 pounds all at once. Try for just the first 5. Don’t focus on the pounds but living a healthier lifestyle.

Write down a specific realistic plan. If you want to run a marathon but haven’t left the couch in months, start with walking down the street and eventually a 5K.  If you want get organized, then start with just one drawer. Success in small ways will keep you going.

2.  Indulge Don’t Deprive

Think about indulging yourself in things that are good for you instead of only depriving yourself. When you feel like a martyr, eventually you will feel sorry for yourself and go right back to the habit that you are trying to break. Avoid the “poor me” syndrome

Focus on what you can do. I will drink 4 glasses of water today.  I will walk 3 times this week. I will smoke only 5 cigarettes today.  I will clip coupons. Whatever the goal, keep it small and attainable.

3. Fill the Void

A big mistake that people make is not replacing the bad habit with a good one. If we don’t fill that void, then we are more likely return to our “go to” -probably not so healthy habit. Mediation, exercise or reading a book are great little escapes but you must think of them and put them in your plan before you auto pilot your unhealthy habit.

4. Avoid Triggers

If you have already broken your resolutions, then you know what doesn’t work. Think of the triggers that led you to go off track and make an effort to avoid them.

Clear your house of temptations whether it is fattening foods, cigarettes or clutter. If your goal is to save money, then don’t go to the mall with your friend that loves to shop. Be assertive and tell your triggers, “I am trying makes some healthy changes so I really can’t …. go to the bar,..the smoking lounge,,..the mall… or the 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.

5. Use the Buddy System

Surround your self with positive people who want to help accomplish your goals. Join a running club, go to Weight Watchers or join Spark People online. People are more likely to be successful when they have support.

Here is a link that provides support for the top 10 New Years Resolutions.

Your phone may be you best buddy. There are many fantastic apps to help you achieve your goals.

Best Resolution Apps

Resolution Tracker

6.  Cheaters Do Win

Perfection sets you up for failure. You don’t need an A+, just a passing grade to achieve most of your goals. If you do your resolution 70% of the time then you will likely be able to make a permanent change. Monitor your progress and realize how much you really have accomplished. Don’t beat yourself up if you get off track. In fact, a recent study showed that eating a low carb calorie restricted diet just 2 days a week had more weight loss than a daily low fat diet.

The key is to get back on!

Happy New Year ..and YOU!

Dr. Deb