Are you already having trouble keeping those New Year’s resolutions to give up your unhealthy habits? Don’t despair.
Healthy lifestyle changes take time and effort to make. Transformations don’t always proceed as planned. Most people face setbacks on the way to their goals.
You may find it easier to stop minor slip-ups — a couple missed workouts, one last cigarette — before they snowball into full-blown relapses. But it’s never too late to regain control. If you return to your old habits, plan your comeback with these steps:
• Give yourself a break. Replace negative thoughts with positive self-talk. Everyone faces obstacles to change. Each time you try, your chances of succeeding improve.
• Change your perspective. Instead of admitting defeat, learn from your mistakes and remember your long-term goals.
• Reflect on your progress. A short-term relapse doesn’t erase your previous progress. Think about what you’ve already gained by eating a healthy diet or cutting back on drinking.
• Seek support. Tell your friends and family about your renewed goals. Ask for help in staying on track.
• Plan ahead for high-risk situations. Identify the reasons you fell off-track. Did you skip exercising on vacation? Start smoking again during a stressful time at work? Write down a strategy for avoiding these triggers next time. For instance, scout out walking paths near your hotel or talk with a trusted friend to cope with pressure.
For everything from smoking cessation options to home-fitness equipment, Rite Aid has the wellness products you need to reach your New Year’s goals.
Changing Your Habits: Steps to Better Health. Weight-control Information Network, win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/changing-habits.htm
Preventing Relapse. National Diabetes Prevention Program.www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/pdf/PostCurriculum_Session11.pdf
What Is a Relapse? National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). www.easyread.drugabuse.gov/what-is-relapse.php
Withdrawal & Relapse. Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine. www.tobaccofreemaine.org/channels/providers/withdrawal_and_relapse.php