Planning Helps Resolutions Become Reality

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Seems many New Year's resolutions don't last much longer than the fireworks following the ball drop!

Dr. Jim Barnett of Topeka's Cotton-O'Neil Clinic says many people set themselves up to fail by setting unrealistic goals and having expectations they can't achieve.

Barnett says goals are good, but break a larger goal, like losing weight, into something smaller and more specific. Barnett suggests a goal of losing maybe four pounds a month or making specific changes like not going back for seconds or controlling portions.

Also avoid absolutes. If you want to make-over your diet, don't say you'll never eat any dessert. Barnett says we're all human, so be more practical and say you'll limit desserts to only once or twice a week.

Exercise also is part of the equation. Barnett says talk to your doctor about a plan because you don't want to do too much, too soon. Barnett suggests starting with three to four days for 30 to 45 minutes at a time.

If smoking is a change you need to make, Barnett again suggest consulting your doctor. He says there are medications that might help you quit.

For all resolutions, Barnett says going into it with a plan makes it more likely you'll succeed. Plus, he says, accept that you might slip up - so when you do, you don't give up and move forward to try again.