Mayo Clinic Experts Offer Tips for Successful New Year’s Resolutions

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As the New Year rolls in, many people will be looking to better themselves by resolving to lose weight, quit smoking and manage stress. Sticking to resolutions for more than a few weeks, however, is a lofty task that takes a great deal of motivation and even lifestyle changes.

Mayo Clinic experts are available to discuss tactics to help people meet and keep their health goals in 2012 and shed light on why it can be so challenging, including:

Why it’s So Hard to Stick to New Year’s Resolutions

Daniel Hall-Flavin, MD, psychiatrist and addiction expert can explain the psychology behind difficulties keeping resolutions. “Truly bettering yourself is a lifestyle change, not a spur-of-the-moment type of decision,” he says.

Managing Stress with a Mind-Body Approach

Ongoing stress negatively affects health, happiness, relationships and quality of life. Amit Sood, M.D., is a specialist in mind-body approaches to decrease stress and enhance resilience, well-being and coping skills. Dr. Sood has also developed the Mayo Clinic Meditation iPhone app and is the author of Train your Brain, Engage your Heart, Transform your Life.

Keeping the Weight Off

Diane Dressel, registered dietitian, knows that losing weight is a popular resolution this time of year, but most people are unsuccessful. For more than 25 years, Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian Diane Dressel has helped people reach their weight-loss goals. She offers this advice:

>> Make your weight loss a priority.

>> Know that it’s going to take a lot of work.

>> Don’t give up.

>> Do your homework before selecting a weight-loss program.

For more of Dressel’s tips, visit her Web feature, Food for Thought, which is updated regularly.

Quitting Smoking for Good
As most people know, smoking is among the most addictive habits, and sometimes it takes a smoker many attempts to quit. It's not just about willpower. Research shows that certain people have a harder time quitting and that finding the right treatment approach for stopping tobacco use is essential.

Richard Hurt, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and a former three-pack-a-day smoker, has spent more than 30 years researching nicotine dependence and helping people quit smoking.

Here's a brief video of Dr. Hurt discussing addiction and smoking.