It’s Easier than You Think

New Year’s resolutions are so easy to make – and break. Why is it so hard to make them last? Scientists, funded by the National Institutes of Health, are learning more about how we can make healthy changes and sustain them.

“Change is always possible,” says Dr. Linda Nebeling, an expert in behavioral change and nutrition at NIH. “One challenge with New Year’s resolutions is that people often set unrealistic goals. Any resolution to change needs to include small goals that are definable and accompanied by a solid plan on how you’ll get to that goal.”

A resolution to quit smoking, or lose 30 pounds, may seem overwhelming. Instead, take it a step at a time. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about a quit plan and smoking-cessation aids. Try losing five pounds a month for six months. Baby steps, taken consistently, will get ou to your goal.

Think about why you want to make the change. Is it important to you, or is it mostly influenced by others, such as your doctor, your spouse or a friend? Research suggests that if it’s something ou really want for yourself, if it’s meaningful to you, you’re more likely to stick to it.

Source: National Institutes of Health