During this, the first week of the New Year, many of us will attempt to keep resolutions made in the heat of the moment shortly before the clock struck midnight over the weekend.

Resolutions, as we have come to understand them in practice and reality, are much harder to keep than to make.

New Years resolutions are heady things.

Resolutions, however, invite overreaching goals that quite often end up being abandoned as the reality of meeting them sets in.

According to the noted psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, resolutions aimed at quitting smoking or drinking to excess or overeating actually cover up underlying unsettled emotions from depression to anxiety to low self-esteem.

“The trouble with shields – and with resolving to simply rid ourselves of one of them as the calendar flips to January – is that putting shields down all of a sudden can expose people to the full force of the unresolved issues they’ve been covering up. That’s why so many people pick up a cigarette again, or a drink, or a half -gallon of ice cream, or an obviously hurtful romantic relationship,” Dr. Ablow writes.

Dr. Ablow suggests that we start by resisting our temptations and bad habits instead of going cold turkey.

Just starting is where it is at, according to Dr. Ablow.

Each of us will deal with the resolutions we have made after our own fashion.

Some of our resolutions will be honored.

Many of them will be broken well before the end of January.

If you have the personal will and power to keep your resolution, all power to you.

If you can’t keep to your resolution, there’s always next year to think about getting it going.

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