A Step-by-Step Guide to Keeping Your Resolutions

Keeping your resolutionsMost of us start the year with the best intentions, but as time passes, sticking to those New Year’s resolutions gets tougher and tougher. Here are two common resolutions and how you can make them stick … for good.

Quit Smoking

  1. Start by writing down your reasons for quitting. Keep this list handy and revisit it often.
  2. Get the help of your health care provider. If you’ve tried to quit before and haven’t been successful, your provider can help. You may find that a medication makes the transition easier.
  3. Read up on what might happen. If you know other people have struggled with symptoms you might be experiencing—like weight gain or the urge to smoke—you won’t be caught off guard if this happens to you.
  4. Make a plan. The American Lung Association Lung HelpLine & Tobacco QuitLine at 800-LUNGUSA (800-586-4872) has experts who can cover your quit options and help you figure out what might work best for you.

Lose Weight

  1. Set goals that are specific, realistic, and forgiving. A good example might be committing to exercise for 15 minutes twice a day, five days a week.
  2. Reward yourself along the way. Just don’t choose food as a reward! Try something like an afternoon off from work or a new outfit for the gym.
  3. Change the cues that cause you to eat unplanned food. Perhaps you always eat more than you intend when you’re watching TV. Break those patterns. 
  4. Monitor your weight with a graph. How often you weigh yourself is up to you, but keeping track is important in making sure you’re moving in the right direction. While a list of logged numbers can work, having a graph can really help you see the trend over time. 

Inspiration for New Year’s Resolutions
If you’re having trouble picking a New Year’s resolution—or struggling to brainstorm unique ideas—fret no more! Our “Living Well: Healthy Changes” page offers numerous articles that can serve as inspiration.