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Making and sticking to your New Year's resolutions

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Many Americans will be hitting the gym, eating veggies and making wholesale lifestyle changes after making a New Year's resolution. Dr. Kevin Campbell will show us how to make and keep those New Year resolutions.

Most resolutions are not kept. In fact, only 8 percent of people who set them succeed while 24 percent never succeed and 49 percent start but fail when obstacles get in the way.

It's all about strategy

New Year's resolutions are as easy to break as they are to make, but experts say keeping it simple helps people hold onto those promises of self-improvement.

From losing weight and eating better to fighting less and giving more, resolutions run the gamut, but usually have one thing in common — they're hard to keep.

And don't try to make a lot of changes at once, make one positive change a month and keep at it until it's a habit. Then tackle the next change you'd like to make

Set reasonable, attainable goals that build on each other. Don't set goals that you cannot possibly reach –make new goals as you progress through the year.

A healthier 2014

The most common goal is weight loss. Dr. Kevin Campbell suggests making a goal of eating a healthier diet and striving to work out at least three times a week. Rather than set a lofty "number goal " for weight loss, focus on eating at least one healthy veggie with every meal, eliminating sugary snacks and walking 20 minutes a day—then build on these easy initial goals.

Another important health goal should be to partner with your primary MD and set prevention type goals—for example stop smoking, manage blood pressure or diabetes and maintain healthy cholesterol

Sticking to it

Psychologists have studied resolutions and have found that folks are more successful if they actually write them down and keep them in a place where they can see them every day. Partner with a friend and hold each other accountable. Make your goals public; Facebook and Twitter are a great way to announce that you are striving for a goal. Celebrate success—even the small things. Remember that you are human and that occasionally you are going to fall short, but don't beat yourself up. Just refocus on your goal.

But if you feel like you are losing focus and not sticking to your resolution, revaluate your goals. If you find negative thoughts surfacing, don't criticize yourself, but stay in control. If your thoughts don't support you or your goals, let then go—they're not doing you any good.

The bottom line is this, believe in yourself. Know that what you are doing is good for you, your family and ultimately will improve your longevity. Consult with your doctor before embarking on a rigorous exercise program and start slow and work up to more significant challenges.

 

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