Tips for successful New Year's resolutions
December 29, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Andrew Holtz
(CNN) -- It's that time of year again -- time to put out the
cigarettes and break out the exercise gear.
New Year's resolutions are at hand. But while most people
have similar goals -- quit smoking, lose weight, exercise
more -- few people actually keep their self-promises.
Instead, according to experts in the field, they fall victim
to their own temptations.
Psychiatrist Jeffrey Kelsey says he has the secret to
resolution success. He believes it comes down to three
things -- preparation, planning and confidence.
Here are a few tips, according the Dr. Kelsey, for plotting a
successful strategy to keep your New Year's resolutions:
Plan a response to temptations. If you're trying to cut
down on sweets and someone offers you a cookie, what are you
going to say? Having a ready-made answer makes it easier to
just say no.
Don't set goals beyond your reach. If you say you're going
to exercise everyday, Dr. Kelsey says your doomed to failure.
But if you promise to exercise three times a week, you have
seven chances to make it happen.
Reward yourself for good behavior. Purchase a CD or book
with the money you saved by not buying cigarettes. Dr.
Kelsey believes people realize a habit has its rewards, and
they need to replace them with other rewards.
Keep a diary or journal. Charting your success can be
helpful when you're ready to quit exercising or start smoking
again. A journal helps you recognize your positive steps and
makes it harder to go back to the same old habits.
And remember that a well-designed plan can boost the odds
that healthy resolutions won't go up in smoke.
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.