Most commonly repeated New Year’s resolutions

New Year's resolutions should start with the simpler things in life. Image by © Juice Images/Corbis

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. Keep your New Year’s resolutions list simple and focus on the issues that appear on your list year after year. Set small attainable goals throughout the year, rather than overwhelming goals. Lifestyle changes are important. Work toward them one step at a time.

Lose weight

 Image by © Glowimages/Corbis

Image by © Glowimages/Corbis

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” – in this case it would be the reverse. Every time you eat correctly counts. Don’t see eating something you like that may not be healthy, as cheating. Enjoy and let it go. Don’t play power games with yourself. In many cases your challenge has little to do with whether you are “weak” or “strong” willed. Instead focus on why you want to lose weight and how you will feel when you have achieved your goal. If you are struggling to lose weight it is a good idea to find out exactly why. Are there underlying health issues?

Get fit

Image by © Kevin Dodge/Corbis

Image by © Kevin Dodge/Corbis

Set clear achievable goals for becoming fit. Join a gym and decide on an achievable amount of times you can go. Use the staircase at work instead of the lift. Walking is the most natural form of exercise. Start walking. Regular exercise increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis.

Quit Smoking

Image by © Wolfgang Minich/dpa/Corbis

Image by © Wolfgang Minich/dpa/Corbis

As with losing weight, the power game thing is important here. It is difficult to stop smoking, but focus on why it is that you want to quit – healthy lungs, glowing skin, anti-ageing effect, ashtray mouth and breath, saving money – the list goes on. Avoid situations that “make” you reach for that cigarette, at least initially. Try cutting down gradually. Take a good multivitamin. There are many products and support services available to help you, but ultimately you have to WANT to stop smoking.

Drink Less

Image by © Aurora/Corbis

Image by © Aurora/Corbis

While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey, but do much better when they reduce gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available.


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