Did you make New Year's resolutions? Or perhaps you know the process by other names...
- The Clean Slate
- My Chance to Get It Right This Time
- Oops, I Really Dropped the Ball Last Year
Sigh. We are an impatient population. We want immediate results, and if there is a glitch in the process, we tend to beat ourselves up and feel "less than"--or abandon ship. A perfect example is the sharp rise in gym membership in January, followed by an empty workout room in March.

I'll admit, I haven't always stuck to my resolutions, either. But I've learned to give myself another chance to make it right. Sometimes, goals need tweaking to become achievable. Here's a glimpse at how a little intervention can smooth the path.

Resolution 1: Reduce sitting time at the office.
Study after study reports that excessive sitting time contributes to weight gain and decreased circulation, metabolic activity, and immunity.

As an acupuncturist and a holistic practitioner, I stand and move a lot. However, in my weight loss and wellness coaching, I spend long stretches of time at my computer, writing and speaking to clients across the country. My resolution to "sit less" wasn't so simple here.

My Intervention
I had two problems. First, I became so engrossed in coaching that I lost track of time. So I installed on my computer a visual countdown clock. Every 20 minutes, the timer reminds me to switch gears. I grab a glass of water and continue my work standing up or add leg raises, calf stretches, or squats. Done.

Second, I needed to gauge my progress. I bought a pedometer and discovered I was logging fewer than 3,000 steps per day. Now, I can keep my eye on the new goal: 10,000 steps.

Resolution 2: Remove electronics from the bedroom.
Cellphones, iPads, laptops, and other devices inject problems into the late night routine. For many of us, squeezing in "just one more" email or report has become the norm. Those extra minutes quickly bloom into a half-hour or more of lost rest time. Also, the light from electronics can affect melatonin production, further hindering a good night's sleep.

My Intervention
I resolved to ban electronics from my bedroom. But then I found myself spending late nights on the computer in another room instead. My improved resolution? Purposely power off devices throughout my home a full hour before bedtime. (And yes, I needed an alarm for that, too.) Now, I can relax Internet-free in preparation for restorative rest.

Resolution 3: Substitute coffee with tea.
Last year I resolved to cut down on coffee by drinking more tea. Mission accomplished--I thought.
In my part of the country, cold temperatures make warm drinks appealing. I thought that was what I liked about coffee and tea. But when I received herbal teas as a gift, my real challenge became clear. I immediately incorporated the new tea and was surprised to find myself missing the other one. The culprit? Caffeine.

My Intervention
It can take some time for our bodies to adjust to the absence of caffeine after regular use. For people prone to headaches, it is important to change habits slowly. I would need patience to see this one through.

I distracted myself from the feelings of withdrawal with other tasks while I experimented with the huge selection of herbal tea flavors available. I now have a favorite herbal tea for the morning, another for the afternoon, and one for the evening. Each serves as a peaceful marker along my hectic day. Check.

I hope you will use the take-aways I got from my resolution experiences to restart or continue your own efforts:
1) Fine-tune to a more specific goal if your resolution is too vague or too broad for you to gauge your progress.
2) Remember that there's more than one path toward your destination. If your route is blocked, map out a detour.
3) Be sure your resolution addresses the true root of the problem. Think of it this way: Don't stop at relieving symptoms when instead you can apply a cure.

I encourage you to take another look at your resolutions. A few tweaks might be all you need to get yourself going again--in the right direction!

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta's goal is not only to relieve patients' illness and discomfort, but to help them set realistic goals for physical and mental preventative care and overall wellness. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers.