New Year’s Resolution? Here’s How to Make it Stick

SATURDAY, Jan. 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) — It’s clear that these last couple of years have been tough for a lot of people.

So now that it’s the week when people make New Year’s resolutions, go easy on yourself.

If you’d like to make a resolution, start small, the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests. By small, the goal should be one you think you can keep.

For example, if you want to eat healthier, don’t make your diet a form of punishment — try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy. If your goal is to exercise more, schedule three or four days a week at the gym, not all seven.

“In the past, I’ve spoken to people about setting realistic and practical New Year’s resolutions,” said Jessy Levin, a senior psychologist at Northwell Health in Lake Success, N.Y. “I’ve discussed SMART goals and how creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound will have the greatest likelihood of success.”

That was prior to the pandemic and more recently Levin said she is encouraging people to set resolutions that “offer themselves grace and self-forgiveness.”

“We have all been through a tremendously stressful past couple of years. We have watched waves and variants. We have changed how we live our day-to-day,” Levin said. “This is not to say that setting goals, especially pro-health goals, are not important. With our lifestyles shifted, improving our diets and activity are important. But so are our mental health goals.”

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