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If I Hear The Word ‘Resolution’ One More Time…

OK, maybe just ONE more time.  The problem with New Year’s resolutions is they tend to be vague and grand:  Lose weight, exercise more, stress less.

Dr. Joseph R. Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, says big goals tend to be unrealistic – A prescription for failure before you even turn the calendar page to February.

Woman’s Day Magazine published a list of tips to help turn big goals into small chunks – realistic actions that you can actually do – in order to make yourself a resolution keeper!

Standing up to eat is a big no-no
(Photo by Christopher Furlong, Getty Images)

Goal #1: Resolve to sit down whenever you eat. This can help you lose several pounds without even trying. That’s the word from Dr. Judith Beck, author of The Beck Diet Solution. In one study, people ate 30% more when standing up. Beck says this is probably because we tend to eat more quickly when standing and miss our body’s “fullness” signals that tell us when we’ve had enough. However, if you sit, you’ll eat more slowly and be more focused on the meal – which’ll help you feel more satisfied.

Goal #2Resolve to walk at least 5 minutes daily. It may not sound like very much, especially when you’ve heard you need to do at least 30 minutes daily. But at this point, it’s all about setting the groundwork to make exercise a habit. “Building a habit gradually and consistently makes it more likely that you’ll stick with it long-term,” Dr. Beck explains. After the first week or two, bump those walks up to 10 minutes; keep adding 5 minutes every week until you’re walking 30 minutes or more every day.

Goal #3Resolve to hug someone every day. “Studies show that hugging decreases levels of stress hormones and lowers blood pressure,” says Dr. Zoglio. In fact, one study found that people who have loving contact (like hugging) in the morning are protected against stress throughout the day. Cuddling with a pet counts, too, as a growing body of research shows that the mere presence of pets can help alleviate stress and lower blood pressure.

Remember, break your resolution, or goal, into small bite-size chunks that you can actually do.  Resolve to take action steps that are realistic and doable.

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