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And, those who don't take resolutions seriously will not achieve long-term success, he added. "Half-hearted attempts work against you," said Platkin, who believes confidence is one of the key elements for success. A person needs to believe that he or she can accomplish something.
"If you are going to give up so easily, it's probably better not to do anything," he said.
So before making that resolution, keep in mind that goals should be specific, motivating, achievable, rewarding and tactical.
New Year's Day could be a day to start mapping goals and determining how to achieve resolutions, Platkin said, just because it's a time when "everyone wants a clean slate, a fresh start."
During the most festive time of the year, it is difficult to make changes, but rather than procrastinating while one is still in high spirits, it's a good time to think about minor modifications that could last a lifetime.
The first step to successfully keeping a resolution is to come up with a plan of action. "Many people find this hokey and silly," he said, but anticipating obstacles and planning how to surmount them helps to minimize crises. Mistakes happen when rushing into something too quickly.
The next step is to put a relapse prevention program into place, suggesting that people need to get over the "all or nothing" theory of behavior. For example, if someone who has given up sweets breaks that diet by eating one cookie, they go off their diet.
"No one is perfect," Platkin said. "Know that you will have slip-ups."
Mark Twain's quote "To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times" is an example of the difficulty involved in changing habits, he added.
Platkin understands the difficulty of making behavioral changes. "I was overweight and obese for most of my life. I must have been on 30 different diets," he said. The best strategy is to not get overwhelmed.
In his new book, "The Automatic Diet," Platkin discusses the principle of "automaticity" -- a psychological term used to describe the unconscious way we make choices for our daily behaviors. Activities like setting an alarm clock, remembering how to drive to work or buckling a seat belt are all activities that require little thought; we just do them, Platkin said.
Make minor changes, he said. For dieting, he doesn't recommend counting calories. For instance, if you go to McDonald's every day, that is probably not going to change, but rather than feeling hopeless, make healthier choices while there. Look for menu selections with fewer calories than what you're accustomed to ordering, he suggested.
It also helps to look at past behavior and past failed resolutions or goals, he said. "People who succeed have a common thread," Platkin said. "All of them recognize that they have control of the outcome of their lives."
It's important to take responsibility for one's life rather than making excuses for failures. Many people talk about being predisposed to obesity, but that doesn't mean that they can't try to be healthy and look their best, Platkin explained.
Look for clues that trigger negative behaviors, and make the necessary changes, he said. If you smoke after dinner or in the presence of other smokers, you need to come up with alternatives for those scenarios. Likewise, dieters shouldn't leave a box of cookies hanging around.
"You don't need to overhaul your entire life, but get rid of heavy temptation," he said.