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Struggling with your New Year's resolutions? Experts say that's normal.

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-17 19:04:44-05

TEMPLE, TX — We’ve all hit the ground running on January 1st, but now that we’re midway through the month, experts say it’s normal to fall off the beaten path a bit with our New Year's resolutions.

“Waiting for that new year, we always feel this kind of rejuvenation,” Kimberly Berry, a sports and health psychologist at Texas A&M Central Texas said. “We set out with great expectations, but sometimes it can be too much.”

But your New Year’s goals may have to adapt in a year where just preserving another day seems like a huge accomplishment.

“Behaviors don’t change overnight,” Kimberly’s husband, Jeremy said. Jeremy is a counseling psychology professor at Texas A&M Central Texas. “They take weeks and weeks and months and months in some cases to develop new patterns and because of that, there’s plenty of opportunities for life to get in the way.”

And life for some of us, it seems, got in the way plenty this year.

“That one day doesn’t have to be a complete reset, it’s just a bump in the road,” Jeremy Berry said.

Berry says it's OK to have those setbacks, like grabbing a snack from the fridge when you’re not really hungry, rather just bored.

“Recognizing those habits and those patterns are what can be that first step into making those behavior changes towards better health,” Kimberly explained.

If your new habits are a bit inconsistent, the Berry's said that’s normal, just remember to keep your end goal in mind.

“If you just set that one lamp post well off into the distance, that light is dim and so you have to have a few small markers along the way to keep yourself motivated,” Jeremy said.

He also said the first three to six weeks is crucial for new behaviors to develop. He explained that once the task passes a threshold, it’ll start to feel like a routine and less like work.