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How to make your New Year's resolution stick

Dec 28, 2011 6:43pm
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(NECN: Melissa Toupin) - Exercise more, loose weight, quit smoking - all of these resolutions sound great on New Year's Eve, but for many, loose their appeal rather quickly.

"I don't know what's hard about it," said Kristine Hersey, a Worcester resident. "I guess if it was easy, I'd already be doing it. Habits are hard to break."

"I think they're definitely tough to stick to just because of how busy everyone gets," said Melissa Beaudry, another Worcester resident.

Dr. Amy Wachholtz is the director of Health Psychology at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. She says that while New Year's resolutions are difficult to keep, it's possible if you take the right approach.

"It depends on how people lay the ground work before they make the resolution that often determines whether or not they're able to stick to them," said Dr. Wachholtz.

Dr. Wachholtz says when deciding on a resolution, it's important to make sure you have a support network at home. She says it's also a good idea to set reasonable goals that fit your lifestyle, and to start small.

For instance, Dr. Wachholtz says instead of resolving to go to the gym for an hour each day - try parking further from entrances, and when given the choice, take the stairs.

"Set up that new habit that's slowly going to help you progress to the new habit you're looking for," said Dr. Wachholtz.

But this year, not everyone is striving for change. Some people opt to not make resolutions, to which Dr. Wachholtz says that's okay, because resolutions are a personal decision and can be made any time of the year.
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