Resolutions: It may be daunting, but don’t get anxious

IT CAN be daunting when your list of New Year's Resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list.

In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to keep your resolutions by February may increase your anxiety.

When your holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of an unused gym membership or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later winter months feel hopeless.

However, it is important to remember that the New Year isn't meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes.

It is a time for people to reflect on their past year's behaviour and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.

By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behaviour into your everyday life.

APA offers these tips when thinking about a New Year's resolution.

Make resolutions that you think you can keep.

If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven.

If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yoghurt instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.

Unhealthy behaviours develop over the course of time.

Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviours with healthy ones requires time.

Don't get daunted and think that you have to reassess everything in your life.

Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

Consider joining a gym or a group of co-workers quitting smoking.

Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.

And remember, perfection is unattainable, if you slip, don't give up completely because you ate a brownie or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy.

Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.

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