Q: The start of a new year stirs up thoughts of reflection and the desire for change. What are healthy resolutions, and what tips do you have for staying committed?
A: Change is hard, and new habits are much easier to make and then break because old patterns may be more familiar, comfortable and easy. Also, stress from the COVID-19 pandemic can make some resolutions more difficult to follow through on. For example, you might want to exercise more, but you're not comfortable working out in a crowded gym.
"This year may require extra thought and planning about how to make a meaningful resolution work within the parameters of our new routines," says Lisa Hardesty, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic Health System psychologist. "We may need to be more open and flexible, but positive changes are certainly possible with planning and dedication."
"Finally, sharing your goals with others is a great way to gain support, accountability and external motivation to continue," says Dr. Hardesty. "If you build internal and external motivation, and accountability, then you will think, feel and behave in ways that sustain success over time."
Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other facilities that serve the health care needs of people in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive highest-quality physical and virtual health care close to home.