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Can't stick to New Year resolutions?

Ameeta G | January 02, 2006

New Year resolutions are mostly fuelled by year-end hype, an individual's will or guilt. They are forgotten after a night of excessive drinking.

Don't let that happen to you.

Take a different approach. Try sticking to your resolutions and seeing them through instead.

illustrationAre these on your list?

Some resolutions find their way to most lists. Like weight-related resolutions. Following a strict diet or workout is tough. Either we don't have the time. Or we lack motivation. If this resolution is on your list, make sure you have some guidance to see it through.

"People tend to go for crash diets, in other words starve themselves. This is not healthy especially if you already suffer from medical problem like hypertension or cardio problems. And once you stop your crash diet, you'll bounce back to your old weight, " warns Pooja Gupte, a dietician at Evolve Gym. Consult a dietician to help you chart your meal plans or consult a fitness trainer.

Another one is sticking to a budget and saving more money. Easier said than done, right?

There's also the one about quitting a bad habit or addiction, with smoking topping the list.

And yes, another popular resolution: 'I resolve never to make another resolution.' We all say it. Then, we get back to the business of making of promises.

Plan of action

If you haven't stuck to your plan in the past, don't give up. Be flexible and give yourself more time. It sometimes takes years to succeed. Here are some tips to help you stick to your resolutions this year:

i. Take time out for yourself to look at all you've experienced -- the good and bad of the previous year. Look at areas you have succeeded in and areas you haven't. Think about how can you improve the good and avoid the bad.

ii. Don't make too many resolutions. Anything between one and five is realistic. Also, try not to aim for the sky within a month.

iii. Avoid absolutes, because they are difficult to manage and you soon tend to revert to old habits. Pick a gradual process of change.

iv. Be very careful about including last year's unresolved resolutions. Try and find out why you didn't stick to them first.

v. Write your resolutions down somewhere visible. Maintaining a journal may be a good idea.

Some new ideas

In our quest for material things, we often forget the basics. We have some suggestions for your resolution list this year.

i. Start by preventing the preventable. When was the last time you had a complete health check-up? We spend ages on our figures and financial issues, leaving out our health in the process. Why not start with your health this year?

ii. Another thing to do is take time out. To live a healthy, positive life, you have to feed your body as well as your mind. Take time out to do things you love and enjoy, because your soul needs feeding too.

iii. More possibilities? Try doing away with old fears. List them -- water, darkness, commitment etc -- and resolve to face them head on. If you're afraid of heights, go bungee jumping!

iv. Rekindle the spirit of younger times by getting in touch with old buddies. Make an attempt to reconnect with your past, mend old conflicts and misunderstandings, and reconnect with your family. According to practicing psychologist Dr P S Tendolkar, "Friends and family provide great social support and are superb stress busters."

v. Resolving to help those less fortunate than you like the homeless, the orphans, the sick is also a great idea. You don't have to all think in terms of money. Volunteering your time can also help make all the difference to someone's life.

2006 has begun. Remember to live it well.


Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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