Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

It can be daunting when your list of New Year’s Resolutions is as long as your holiday shopping list.

In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to keep your resolutions by February, March or even late January may increase your anxiety. When your holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, the frustration of an unused gym membership or other reminders of failed resolutions can make the later winter months feel hopeless.

“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for. Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.” – Lynn Bufka, PhD.

By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behavior into your everyday life.

APA offers these tips when thinking about a News Year’s resolution:

1. Start small

Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.

2. Change one behavior at a time 

Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

3. Talk about it 

Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.

4. Don’t beat yourself up 

Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.

5. Ask for support 

Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.

Source: American Psychological Association

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Find the Right Psychologist for you

Finding the right psychologist is an important part of any psychological journey. The American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Association Practice Organization have partnered to provide patients with a personalized, ideal psychological locator. Simply search for a psychologist in your area, in a certain specialty, or by a specific name, to find someone you’re comfortable with.

Visit the SDPA website for other resources, membership information, and more. Your membership could be Your voice in South Dakota’s psychological industry.


Tell Your Members of Congress to Reject the Newest Reform

On December 2nd, the Senate voted to pass a major tax reform legislation that will create adverse affects on both psychologists and consumer access to mental health. This bill will be appealing the mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as it cuts Medicare’s annual spending by 4% for the next decade, with an initial estimate cut of $25 billion from the 2018 budget. Such restrictions on the budget causes the average premiums in the individual market to increase by 10%, causing millions of American citizens to lose their health insurance coverage.

The vote to pass this legislation was 51-49. Congress are now taking steps towards conference committee work in order to resolve differences between the House and the Senate version, with a goal of passing the final version of the legislation within days. Follow the link here to tell your Members of Congress to reject any legislation that contains provisions that repeal the ACA’s individual mandate and eliminates critical higher education tax supports.

Take Action Now 


Become a Member with SDPA for 2018

Would you like to influence the health and well-being of South Dakotans? SDPA is the voice of the psychologists in South Dakota, and Your membership is Your voice! SDPA membership DOUBLED in 2017, and we’ve targeted another 25% increase in 2018.

Become a Member Today!

Grassroots advocacy works in a small state like South Dakota. let you psychology voice be heard through SDPA! ” – Hilary Kindsfater, PhD., Federal Advocacy Coordinator

Being involved in SDPA is an excellent way to stay current on local, state and also national issues in psychology. The membership to SDPA provides opportunity for renewal of old connections and making new ones with colleges in psychology. It provides a forum to discuss professional concerns and issues with other psychology professionals. It keeps you abreast of current psychological information about interesting topics, current therapies and legislation issues.”  – Kari Scovel, Ph.D., Public Education Coordinator, Rapid City

I support SDPA because SDPA makes an impact on the field of psychology in our state and the people we serve in our practices every day.”  – Danelle Pennock, Psy.D., Yankton

The networking is invaluable to me!” – Jodi Owen, Psy.D., Pierre

Membership Options:

  •  Division 1 Private Practice $75.00
  •  Division 1 Student $5.00
  •  4+ Post-Doctorate Membership  $225.00
  •  First 3-years Post-Doctorate Membership $125.00
  •  Associate Member $100.00
  •  Emeritus Status $100.00
  •  Academic Member $175.00
  •  Student Member $30.00

Become a member of SDPA to secure the future of psychology in South Dakota.

Contact with any questions regarding membership or the renewal process.