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Why do we make resolutions?

A New Year means a clean slate for people – hence all those resolutions, said Jan Foshee, a counselor with the South Central Alabama Mental Health Board.

“Those resolutions usually are designed to encourage yourself to improve your life,” Foshee said. “By making it in the form of a resolution, it keeps things foremost in your mind.”

It is estimated that about 40 to 45 percent of American adults set at least one resolution come New Year’s.

“You can call it making plans; you can call it making a resolution,” Foshee said. “Either way, they are things that can make your new year a better year. Just remember, if, at any time you feel like you need to make a change, you don’t have to wait for the New Year. Do it whenever you need to.”

However, for those who need a few tips about how to make resolutions stick throughout the year, try these suggestions:

• Start by putting it in writing.

Foshee suggested leaving clues in conspicuous places such as on the mirror or refrigerator.

• Make it a realistic list by taking the time to evaluate where you are and where you want to be.

• Plan a strategy. It’s OK to make another list of things you need to do to meet the goals.

• Share resolutions with others. This will give support and encouragement.

• Reward yourself for a job well done. Positive self-talk is needed along the way to fuel motivation.

• Realize that failure is OK.