(NBC News) – The New Year usually comes with new resolutions, but change can be hard, especially once life goes back to normal after the holidays.
To succeed with resolutions going forward sports psychologist Dr. Stephen Graef at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center recommends looking to the past, with the acronym P.A.S.T.
P stands for plan.
“Being able to identify what our goal is and establishing steps to be able to get there is critical,” Dr. Graef says.
A is for arrange your environment, a handy step for those who resolve to get up earlier each morning.
“By just sitting my cell phone across on the other edge of the room or on the other edge of my bed, it forces me to actually get up in the morning,” Dr. Graef explains.
S, stick to one thing, and finally, T, make it too easy to fail.
Instead of trying to commit to one hour of exercise every day, try something a little less life altering.
“If we’re talking exercise, one minute, alright, then move up to five minutes, then move up 10 minutes,” Dr. Graef suggests.
Experts say the most important thing of all is to accept ourselves a little more regardless of where we are in life.