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This Year Make a New Year's Resolution You Can Actually Keep; Tips from Montefiore Medical Center Expert

Selecting More Meaningful Goals Can Lead to Success in 2013

New York (December 20, 2012) – It’s that time of year when people everywhere make  unrealistic New Year’s resolutions that are often too difficult to maintain. This year, instead of aiming for extreme weight loss or finding the partner of your dreams, psychologist Simon Rego, Psy.D., of Montefiore Medical Center recommends focusing on value-based resolutions.

“Resolutions that address cherished areas of your life, such as helping other people, fostering deeper relationships and exploring new paths for personal growth and development, can allow you to reach your goal and feel good about yourself in 2013,” Dr. Rego says. “Some people turn away from making resolutions out of frustration, but you can be successful if you refocus your goals.”

Here are several New Year’s resolutions Dr. Rego says are realistic enough to actually be maintained:

  • Broaden your relationships. Spend more time focusing on your friends and making those relationships even stronger, including your relationship with your partner.
  • Try a new activity. Take a painting class, learn to play an instrument or go rock climbing. Exploring new activities can introduce you to something that can change your life forever or simply broaden your knowledge. And you may even make new friends.
  • Focus on the role of food and exercise in everyday life. Instead of trying a fad diet, start tracking your food consumption and think about what you eat and how you feel before doing so. Just being more mindful of what you’re eating and the role your emotions and environment play in food choices can make a big difference. Also, think about increasing your water intake, wearing a pedometer and taking the stairs instead of the elevator – little changes add up over time.
  • Take action when it comes to your health. The first of the year is a good time to check in with your doctor for an annual physical. Take ownership over your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and other key measures so you can maintain optimum health.

“Continually striving to make small changes and focusing more on the things you value can make the coming year even more fulfilling,” Dr. Rego says. “Find what matters to you and make it happen. You have 365 days to live your best year yet.”

Simon Rego, Psy.D., director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Training Program in Montefiore Medical Center's Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than a decade of experience in cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based psychological treatments. His clinical expertise is in the cognitive-behavioral assessment and treatment of anxiety, mood, sleep and repetitive disorders. He frequently gives presentations and workshops on the treatment of anxiety, stress disorders and depression, and is currently completing books on obsessive-compulsive and panic disorders.

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