ETX counselor offers tips for keeping New Year's resolutions - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX counselor offers tips for keeping New Year's resolutions


It's January, which means a lot of people are already struggling with those New Year's resolutions. 

But instead of giving up completely, one Tyler counselor and minister offers suggestions for how to rethink, and keep, your resolutions. 

"The research is that people keep smaller resolutions and they do not keep huge ones, and they never keep multiple ones," says Chris M. Legg, a licensed professional counselor and Campus Pastor at FBC Tyler South Campus. "So if I say, I'm going to exercise 30 minutes every day, and I'm going to lose 50 pounds, and I'm going to stop smoking and I'm going to stop swearing, all those things, then they'll end up doing none of them." 

Legg says what you really want to do is be realistic when you're making your goals. 

"You want to stick with small, measurable goals where you can see results," he says. 

That's in part because none of us are as self-disciplined as we'd like to think we are. 

"What happens is character change, willpower, all that, it's kind of like a muscle. If you use it, you get better at it. So one researcher has found that if people make a small change, even if it's a meaningless change, then they start being able to make the bigger changes also," Legg says. 

By re-evaluating your resolutions now, you can make them a little more realistic -- and you'll be more likely to keep them. 

And Legg says you shouldn't doubt the power of positive influences in your life when trying to make big changes. 

"We tend to drop off of any commitment we make if we don't have a community in which to make it," he says. "So we need friends and family, not to berate us and nag us, but to encourage us, to remind us, to move us on." 

And don't think that, just because it's January, it's too late to make that new resolution. 

"When do you start? Well, if you're talking about living an abundant life, a more fulfilled life, why wouldn't you start now?" Legg asks. "There's nothing magic, clearly, nothing magic about January 1st, because most people by now have missed it. There's always something magic about where history meets eternity, and that's always now." 

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