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How to set and keep New Year's resolutions

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 10:46:22 CST
By: Rachel Darling

A new year brings new resolutions. Advocate Bromenn Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kevin Krippner says while the stats vary, most New Year's resolutions are broken early in the year. But, he says there are ways to create resolutions that will last. Krippner suggests making resolutions with clear, measurable goals that are realistic and achievable.


"Setting up small steps can often be helpful. If it's exercise you may start out by saying: 'I'm just going to walk around the block' ."

Krippner says taking lifestyle and career demands into account is critical when establishing realistic resolutions. He says they should take into account individual preferences for addressing change.


"Are you the kind of a person, unlike being able to make abrupt changes, would do a better job if things are gradual?"

Krippner says whether an invidual prefers abrupt or gradual changes, resolutions should include rewards.


"Set up rewards for achieving smaller goals, to help yourself feel good about the progress you're making."

Getting the help of friends and family can also increase the likelihood of keeping New Year's resolutions, according to Krippner.


"First thing is letting other people in your life know what you're trying to do. And maybe even enlist their help and say, 'Hey, maybe check in with me in a week, or a couple weeks, and ask me how I'm doing'."

Krippner says making a New Year's resolution a social activity can help as well...


"Partner Up. I think that a lot of times, people find great success when they have another person who has a similar goal. When you have a partner you have accountability, and you may not want to let down that other person."

Without or without a partner, Krippner says New Year's resolutions can provide meaningful motivation for positive change, but avoid setting vague goals, and focus on success and progress made over periods of struggle.

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