Slipping up on a promise to change doesn't have to mean giving up. Here are tips from counselors on getting your mind-set back into the right place:
* Don't beat yourself up. Making big changes in your life is "really hard," says Sharon Silverberg, a licensed professional counselor with Rising Tide Therapy in Virginia Beach. "Many times you are going against what you've always done. It's OK to make mistakes."
* Eliminate the word "only." Did you vow to walk five days a week but "only" did three, or "only" lose a half-pound a week instead of two? Instead of focusing on the negative, celebrate the accomplishment: several days of walking and weight lost. Never minimize progress, however small.
* Break down a resolution. If your goal suddenly feels overwhelming, then set smaller targets. Want to stop eating fast food? Reduce your weekly trips by one day at a time -- not all at once.
* Get support. Admit to family and friends that you're struggling with your resolution and ask for help. Also look into online support groups.
* Think about why you slipped. Maybe you went into a bar where you always smoked, ate with a friend who pressures you into ordering dessert or aren't getting enough sleep. Find your "red flags" and work to avoid them.
* Focus on one resolution. While many people set multiple goals, it's easier to direct your energy toward one that's very important to you.
* Talk to yourself each morning. Remember why you set a goal and think about what specifically you can do that day to help meet it.
* Don't expect perfection. Aim to be "good enough" -- and understand that willpower builds over time.