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Top Five New Year Resolutions

Make a Fresh Start in the New Year


Updated January 07, 2012

January is a great time to make a fresh start. These five new year's resolutions are commonly made, but not always commmonly kept. Pay heed to the suggestions for making them work.

1. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is still top of the list for those that find it really hard to let go of cigarettes. For many smokers, they make the same resolution year after year, only to start smoking again in February. The answer? Use the support that is out there, take vitamin supplements, and consider nicotine replacement. Talk to your doctor about appropriate dosages, as many people under-dose themselves with nicotine patches, and still experience cravings. And with the cost of cigarettes, a good old glass jar filling up with all the cash you'd be spending on tobacco can be a great incentive!

2. Lose Weight

In January, many of us feel the nip in the waistband after overindulging over the holidays. Big meals combined with leisurely days at home can lead to those extra few pounds that remind us of the need to cut back on junk food, sugary food, and supersize portions. The best way to lose weight? Combine a reasonable amount of exercise -- no more than 2 hours per day to avoid exercise addiction -- with a calorie controlled diet. But the most important thing is to avoid overeating in future.

3. Control Your Drinking

While for some people, there is a need to go through detox and quit alcohol completely, for many drinkers, the new year brings a sneaking suspicion that there were some embarrassing moments over the holidays, best forgotten in the blur of intoxication, along with a sense that it would be an improvement to drink responsibly.

4. Spend Less Time Online

We're all spending more and more time online, and now, it isn't just computers that give us internet access, increasingly, people are hyperconnected to their smartphones. And while you might not want to let go of the many advantages they bring, it's good to have a strategy for how to control your smartphone use if you feel it is taking over your life.

Increased access to the internet can also turn a casual enjoyment of video games to full-fledged video game addiction, and you may be feeling that you are spending too many hours lost in the fantasy of cyberspace, while your real life passes you by. Or perhaps cybersex has taken over a your principal form of relaxation.

5. Improve Your Relationships

There are myriad ways that addiction can affect your relationships. Improving your relationships will often mean having to deal with your addiction first, as the attachment that you feel to your addictive behavior or substance will often interfere with fulfilling the obligations of a relationship, making the other person feel neglected, taken advantage of, or even abused. A good starting point is to look at improving honesty, which is an important part of genuine intimacy in relationships. If you feel you need more help, find out about relationship counselling or family therapy.
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