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The Secret for Keeping Those Resolutions

Behavioral changes are key to keeping all those promises you made to yourself

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2004 (HealthDayNews) --It's a reliable old chestnut, the fact that New Year's resolutions are easier to make than to keep.

But that's just because you aren't using a set of guidelines developed by behavior change experts from the Mayo Clinic.

The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource outlines some strategies, including:

  • Keeping records of situations, moods or triggers that lead to unhealthy behaviors. For example, do you overeat when you are bored, frustrated or stressed?
  • Studying the records to find ways to foil those behaviors. An example would be exercising instead of drinking wine if you drink to reduce stress.
  • Setting small-step goals that are specific, measurable, attainable and flexible.
  • Rewarding yourself for reaching a health goal. Rewards could include a trip to the movies or a desired purchase.
  • Reviewing your progress every few months and repeating the above steps to set new goals for yourself.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about behavior change.

SOURCES: Mayo Clinic, news release, January 2004
Consumer News