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Published on December 16, 2013

3 Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions That Last

Happy New Year from MercyCare Community Physicians!The start of the New Year is a great time to reevaluate your health and happiness, and resolve to make positive lifestyle changes. However, studies show that approximately one-third of all resolution-makers will break their goals by the end of January — leaving little hope for the rest of the year. No matter your goal — losing weight, de-stressing, saving money, etc. — keep these three tips in mind to make your resolutions stick.

Start Small

Setting an end goal is important when planning your resolutions, but focusing on the final product may be discouraging and debilitating. For example, instead of focusing on losing 20 pounds, try setting small, practical goals, such as exercising three times a week, taking the stairs, or limiting dinners out. With this type of planning, you will feel rewarded and a sense of pride when you complete these manageable objectives. Reflecting on what you have accomplished will help boost your morale and perseverance.

Prepare for Setbacks

It’s human nature for our emotions and desires to trump our willpower every once in a while. By accepting that setbacks are inevitable, we can have a plan ready for when we succumb to our wants rather than our needs. Rather than feeling discouraged and guilty after eating a brownie, go for a walk instead. Balancing your mistake with a positive action can prevent you from “going off the deep end,” which is more overwhelming to recover from.

Find Support

You can solidify your goals simply by sharing them with others. Friends, family and professionals can help hold you accountable for your goals and provide encouragement. Surrounding yourself with people sharing a similar goal will also help. They can give advice, inspiration, and — at the very least — provide a favorable environment free of temptations.

Regularly visiting your primary care provider is another way to track your progress and find encouragement. If you do not have a provider, we invite you to call our Find-a-Doc line at (319) 369-4444 to discuss your options. By separating your final goal into manageable pieces, preparing for setbacks, and reaching out for support, we hope that you are able to make positive lifestyle changes that stick. Have a happy, healthy New Year from MercyCare Community Physicians!

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