John O'Neill, director of addiction services for The Menninger Clinic in Houston, says this is the time we tend to generate new hope for the next year.
"As we reflect, we think about what needs to be different," O'Neill says in a statement. "The process of thinking about change is critical to developing actual change. It is a process that is helpful no matter what time of year."
Resolutions usually take the form of either starting something, e.g. start exercising, organizing, spending time with family; or stopping something, e.g. quit smoking, drinking, eating poorly, but before committing to a resolution take a look at what is motivating you to change, O'Neill says.
If ready to make a change, devise a strategy that provides the best chance for success, O'Neill says. To achieve resolutions O'Neill says to:
-- Keep resolutions to a minimum.
-- Find someone who supports your change and to whom you can be accountable.
-- Appreciate the changes attempted and reward yourself throughout the process.
-- Attend to your stress. Many resolutions center around behaviors that are in place to cope with stress such as smoking, drinking or problematic eating.