Best way to make and keep New Year’s resolutions

Make realistic resolutions

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - New Year’s resolutions have been around for 4,000 years since the Babylonians expressed a desire to be a better person for the gods and pay off debts.

It’s likely most of those resolutions didn’t pan out. Some things never change. But just because resolutions don’t always work out, it’s at least worth a try.

“This is a very symbolic time, so I think there’s a benefit to doing it,” said Dr. Arron Wilson, the Chief Medical Officer at Sierra Tucson. “It’s always a good thing to look for self improvement.”

But the problems begin when folks make resolutions that are impossible to keep.

“People tend to shoot for the stars with their resolutions, have these broad strokes, huge goals,” Dr. Wilson said. “It’s a lot of pressure.”

“I take resolutions seriously,” said Randy Peterson, who works for the Humane Society. “This year’s resolution is weight loss and I’m going to try to kick fast food.”

Achievable? “I think so," he said but would not be disappointed if he fell off the wagon.

“I made a lot of resolutions,” said Robert Pulver, who was getting ready to run a 10K. “To be happier and kinder to people and I want to lose weight and be more physically fit.”

Achievable? “If not, I just set new resolutions for the following year," he said.

“To be healthier, just working out, being healthy,” said Marian McGill, while standing with her three children. “Running with my dog.”

Achievable? “I don’t put that pressure on me,” she said.

And that’s a pretty healthy attitude.

“Set achievable goals, plan ahead, engage support,” Dr. Wilson said. “A lot of data says if you surround yourself with people who know you’re trying to reach that goal, it can be helpful to support you.”

Setting goals and failing to keep them right off the bat at the beginning of the new year can be a blow to the self esteem, which is why the goals should not be too lofty.

“You don’t want to set yourself up to fail as the first thing you do in the new year,” Dr. Wilson said. “You should set up to succeed.”

He says if the goal is to lose 50 pounds, start out with a goal of five pounds, achieve that and go from there.

“There are ways to make changes which are positive,” he said. “But again, it’s being realistic.”

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