If you are like most people, then your resolve to fulfill your resolutions starts to decrease by the 3rd week of January. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Then take advice from literature on relapse prevention regarding steps you can take to get back on track with your goals. Everyone gets derailed, the key is getting back on track: • Be realistic: The first step to setting and keeping a goal is to make sure it’s realistic. “I’m going to exercise every day” is not sustainable; you will be sick, work late, or just need down time and you’ll inevitably miss days. Also, your body needs days off to rest. Setting an unrealistic goal sets you up for failure, so choose something that is within reach. You can always up your goal later. For a couch potato, “I’m going to run a 5k this summer” is doable and it doesn’t rule out doing a half marathon at some point. • Know your triggers: Awareness is always a key component in making a change. If you know your triggers for overeating/smoking/shopping (insert any behavior you are trying to change), then you can develop a relapse prevention program for yourself. You might have several key triggers, but try to notice if feelings, situations or certain people tend to play a role in loosening your resolve. Are you eating because you are bored or lonely? Do you smoke because it’s social at work? Do you go shopping right after you fight with your spouse? • Develop a game plan for triggers: Once you know your triggers, you can slow down in the moment and make a different choice. “I’m lonely right now. I don’t need a doughnut, I need to talk with a friend.” “Next time I fight with my spouse, I’m going to take a walk and cool down.” “If someone brings a cake to celebrate at work, I will bring a healthy snack so I don’t feel left out.” • Minimize stress: It is incredibly difficult to make a significant change in your life when you are overwhelmed. If you have too much going on to give yourself breathing room, then it might not be the right time to try making a change. First, you need to prioritize the change you want to make and then take some things off your plate to give yourself the time and energy to devote to your priority. If exercising three times a week is a goal, then maybe this is the year you sit out being the school room parent. • Seek support. It always helps to have supportive people when we are trying to make a change. Think about the people who really support you, not just the people that you hope will support you. If eating healthy is a goal, then go out to dinner with your friend who is willing to try the new healthy restaurant instead of the friend who insists on appetizers, drinks, and dessert. Find a co-worker who also wants to quit smoking and walk around the block so you still get the break and social aspects of a smoking break. If you start with the assumption that we all get off track at times, then you can develop a plan to deal with those moments. Setbacks don’t mean failure, rather they are opportunities to learn how to support yourself on your journey to your goal.