CLEVELAND, Ohio – New Year’s Eve has come and gone, and with it, many move on to 2023 with their own resolutions.

“Research indicates that individuals tend to set the same exact resolution year after year,” said Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “It really shows that there is a gap between what we do and what we want and we can use some psychology to fill in that gap.”

According to Dr. Albers, the first step is to set “small, actionable, realistic goals that are concrete.” In other words, instead of being vague and saying you will do a thing, set a more specific quantifiable goal.

Those seeking to lose weight should also be wary of fad diets and restrictions and instead go for something more “sustainable.” For example, you can practice mindful eating by paying close attention to the food you’re eating, both the kind and the amount.

For resolutions of all sorts, daily reminders can help keep you on the path, but most importantly, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t hit your goal overnight.

Dr. Albers also suggested setting an intention over a usual resolution, such as declaring “I want to be more positive or more adventurous.”

“Change is a process. It is not like a light switch, it takes time,” said Dr. Albers. “Many of these behaviors are activities and habits that you have had for years, so be patient with yourself and give yourself some time to adapt and make new changes.”