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Turn Your New Year Resolutions Into Habits

by Dr. Denise Chranowski


We always ask patients at the beginning of the year if they are going to make any New Year’s resolutions and many reply, "No, I don’t like making them." The truth is they don’t like keeping them, and get frustrated when they break their resolutions.

The fact of the matter is that you can’t change a habit without first changing yourself. Remember, things don’t change, people change. We must first change our perspective or our beliefs before we change something, such as our bad habits. Remember, those behaviors are habits that are serving some need we have. Until we understand WHY, we will never be able to keep promises or resolutions that we make.

Steven Covey who wrote, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says to develop a habit you must understand three things related to the habit. The first is knowledge, or the WHAT to do. For example, reading a book on how to play better golf will teach you how to become a more skilled golf player. The second component of a habit is the skill, or the HOW to do it. For example, going to the golfing range and practicing will develop your skill. But the third and, I think, most important component of a sustainable habit is the attitude, or the WHY to do it. Why do you want to become a better golfer? Or in my line of work, why do you want to be healthy. I recently asked a gentleman in our practice who is significantly overweight, "Why do you want to be healthy" and as tears came to his eyes he said, "So I can be there when my baby granddaughter graduates high school." Wow, that’s a pretty big WHY. I’m pretty sure his "why" is big enough to sustain his habit of making better lifestyle choices to get healthy (like eating, moving, and thinking better).

So I would encourage you to make some New Year’s Resolutions, but make sure they are resolutions that can become habits. And grab a piece of paper and write down what, how and, most importantly, why you are going to make this year the year that your resolution is going to stick!! God Bless and a Healthy and Happy New Year to All.

 

Dr. Denise Chranowski practices with her twin brother, Dr. Dane Donohue. They are the founders of the 8 Weeks to Wellness program. They own and operate the Bucks County Wellness Centres soon to be Wellness Center Solutions relocating to 121 Friend Lane in Newtown, PA.  www.wscenters.com 215-752-1420


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