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New Year’s Resolutions 101


New Year’s resolutions: We have all set them and we have all broken them. Whether it is to lose weight, stop smoking, or spend more quality time with our loved ones, New Year’s resolutions involve behavior change. Achieving and maintaining change can be challenging. After all, behavior patterns develop over time and it takes time to develop new patterns. For those who look ahead to the new year with personal goals, here a few tips for success:

  1. Set realistic goals. One of the greatest reasons for failing to meet a personal goal is that the goal is unrealistic. So, keep it obtainable.
  2. Be kind to yourself.  Behavior change does not happen overnight. It is a process.  There will be good times that are consistent with your goals, and times that are not quite so good.  Allow yourself to make a mistake from time to time. Do not dwell on it or be unkind to yourself because of it. Make useful meaning of it. Learn from it. And, move forward toward your goal.
  3. Remember that success is motivating. Track your progress and set smaller goals on the course to your end goal. Meeting goals feels good and this motivates behavior, so set goals en route and empower yourself to keep going.
  4. Think about thinking. Our own thoughts can keep us from achieving our goals. Identify unreasonable, inaccurate, and unhelpful thoughts that lead to negative feelings and self-sabotaging behavior. Then, change them. Thoughts that are realistic and consistent with our goals are more likely to positively affect our emotional experience and promote desirable behavior.
  5. Reward yourself. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool to encourage desirable behavior. So, go ahead, praise yourself for every success, no matter how small. It will help you to continue your efforts.

Best wishes for a great 2013 and achieving all you hope to achieve.


Dr. Deibler

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New Year’s Resolutions 101

Marla W. Deibler, PsyD

Marla W. Deibler, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist and nationally-recognized expert in anxiety disorders and the obsessive-compulsive spectrum, including trichotillomania and other body-focused repetitive behaviors, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding, and tic disorders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia in New Jersey, an outpatient facility specialized in providing evaluation and evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral therapies for these and other difficulties. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of OCD-NJ, the New Jersey affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). Dr. Deibler gained her formative clinical experiences at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Children’s National Medical Center, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center. She gained specialized behavior therapy experience in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders at the nationally-recognized Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington. Dr. Deibler served as a clinician at the National Center for Phobias, Anxiety, and Depression. She also served as Director of Behavioral Sciences at the Temple University School of Dentistry and served on the clinical faculty at Temple University Schools of Medicine and Allied Health as well as Temple University Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Deibler has published scientific research in peer-reviewed journals and has presented clinical training seminars and research findings at national and international meetings. She has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, A&E’s “Hoarders”, TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive”, CBS News, ABC News, FOX News, It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle (CN8, Retirement TV), and CBS’s “Swift Justice with Nancy Grace”. She has been quoted by media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and the Connecticut Post, among others. Dr. Deibler holds licenses to practice psychology in New Jersey (Lic. No. 35S100438000) and Pennsylvania (Lic. No. PS0157790). She is an active member of the American Psychological Association, Trichotillomania Learning Center, International OCD Foundation, OCD-New Jersey, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Dr. Deibler resides in suburban Philadelphia with her husband (who is also a psychologist) and three children.

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APA Reference
Deibler, M. (2012). New Year’s Resolutions 101. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 7, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Dec 2012
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