Tips to get started on a daunting New Year’s resolution

Published: Jan. 2, 2021 at 9:01 AM EST
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - 2021 -- with a new year comes new goals, or maybe old goals, and another shot at following through with them.

For many folks, one of those goals may be to put down the cigarettes for good. Quitting cold turkey only has a 5 percent success rate. The Vermont Department of Health says that’s important to keep in mind.

“Find what is going to work for you. So for many people, you need more than several times to quit smoking. Taking that and stepping forward to another quit attempt is a way to build on your success,” suggests Rhonda Williams of the Vermont Department of Health.

Some other ways to find success include pairing counseling and Nicotine replacement therapy, like gums or patches. You can use online resources from the Vermont Department of Health.

Understand that missteps happen, and starting with small steps is still significant.

And if you fail, it’s ok; you don’t need a brand new year to start again.

“We also see increased activity on Mondays for cessation activity. Every day can be your Monday, or every day can be your New Years,” says Williams.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, quitting smoking lessens chances of cognitive decline. The same can be said for increasing activity, which is another popular goal for the New Year.

“A lot of people jump into it saying I just want to be more fit, without really understanding what that means. So that’s the first thing, is to think about what do you mean by being fit? Do you want to feel better, do you want to run a 5K, do you want to be stronger, what are you trying to do,” says Cate MacLachlan of Artemis Fitness.

MacLachlan says to find a personal trainer that works for you, and set your goals.

Deciding on a gym or program that feels comfortable for you is another great way to see success.

But if getting into the gym is not high on your resolution list, maybe getting your finances in order is.

Whether that means figuring out when you can retire, how much you should have in savings, or even if you can just take a vacation, it all starts with one step.

“Know how much you spend, and what you spend it on. Tracking your spending is not new or Earth-shattering advice but it is such powerful information to have at your fingertips and it can help you in a number of different ways,” says Andrew Murphy of Broadlake Financial Management.

Murphy recommends using apps or software to help you break down how you’re spending your money, and determine if there are ways to save some along the way.

“Find that you’re subscribed to four different video streaming services and two music services and maybe you can trim that down to the one or two you use the most,” Murphy says.

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