Keeping your New Year's resolutions - Dry Feb 2024

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Learn how to keep your New Year’s resolutions and turn them into concrete habits

By Canadian Cancer Society

The new year is a great reminder that we can start a new chapter and have a fresh start whenever we want to. Have you ever made and kept a New Year’s resolution? Many of us get inspired to make big goals as we bring in the New Year but can lose steam the further we get into the year. Here are some tips to keep your habits in place.

Allow yourself to fail

Progress isn’t linear and not every day will be a good one. Someday down the road, you may forget to add an extra vegetable to your day, choose Caesar salad over a vinaigrette, stay in when you should go out, or vice versa. The important thing is to not let “perfect” be the enemy of “good”. Despite common New Year’s sentiment, most of the time there isn’t much you can do to completely invalidate your progress, so don’t feel like errors make you a failure.

Set actionable goals

Every year, millions of people resolve to have a healthier lifestyle or “get in shape”, with only a vague idea of what that really means. Without a specific first step, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by our goals. Joining a gym is a big commitment but taking a walk every day is much easier--where you go from there is up to you. It’s been said that the person who loves walking will walk further than the person who loves the destination. Having long-term goals is wonderful, but we shouldn’t let the future get in the way of the present.

Take care of your mental health

Mental health... The truth is that mental health is not that black and white. For various reasons, many people are unable to commit to therapy or meditation, but there are lots of small decisions that can affect your mood. It can be pushing yourself to go out and be social or it can be letting yourself stay in because you’re tired and you deserve some rest. As Dean McCoppin says in The Iron Giant, “you are who you choose to be”. The point of maintaining your mental health isn’t to be perfect--you can be whoever you want, as long as you do so actively instead of playing a passive role in a life led by your inhibitions.

Is reducing your alcohol intake one of your New Year’s resolutions? To help keep you on track, and also fundraise for people affected by cancer, go to for details.

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This article has been republished with permission from the Canadian Cancer Society's website.

Important Note

Dry Feb is a fundraising campaign aimed at challenging social drinkers to change their habits for a month and make some healthy lifestyle changes. We would encourage people to drink responsibly and stick to the recommended daily guidelines for the rest of the year. We advise heavy drinkers or people dependent on alcohol to speak with their healthcare provider before signing up to Dry Feb.

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