Making Resolutions Last

News Note

By Lara Evans Bracciante

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, December/January 2005.

In the New Year, 40 percent of Americans will resolve to exercise more, 13 percent will vow to eat better, and 7 percent will resolve to cut back on tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, or other drugs, according to a survey conducted at the University of Washington’s Addictive Behaviors Research Center. In addition, only an estimated 40 percent will achieve their primary resolution on the first attempt. So what can you do to be more successful in sticking to your resolutions? Researchers recommend the following:

·Be committed to make the change.

·Have strategies in place to deal with the difficulties and obstacles that will inevitably arise.

·Keep a journal of your progress to help hold yourself accountable.

·Spend time seriously contemplating your resolution, rather than spontaneously declaring it on December 31st at 11:58 p.m. Also, don’t just pick an acute issue that’s bothering you at that moment.

·Don’t use absolutes such as, “I will never again …,” or “I will always …”

If you are less than totally successful right away, don’t blame yourself, say researchers, but rather look at the challenges you ran into and figure out a plan to work around these as you move forward.