New Year, new you? - FOX 13 News

New Year, new you?

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The New Year is a chance for a new you.  Millions of Americans make New Year's resolutions.  Losing weight is the most popular.

Patsy Couch will try to lose 15 pounds in 2013.

"I'm going to cut out my snacks and stop using my hazelnut coffee creamer," Couch said.  "And I may have to give up my cookies at night."

Heading into the New Year, the gyms are packed and filled with many promises.

"I started today," Jonathan Burns told FOX 13.  "I just woke up, and I kind of did a little yoga before going to get a little breakfast."

Burns is also resolving to start jogging in the morning before work.

Psychologist Dr. Harriet Raitano said her office is flooded this time of year with people vowing to change their lives.

"When we think about something, we form images," she explained.  "So form an image of what you want to look like and focus in on that – laser in on that and don't stop until you get to that image."

Dr. Raitano said you have to plan ahead in order to keep resolutions.

"If you want to lose weight, for example, think about what you're doing, make a list, go to the store, get the things that you need to maintain your diet," Dr. Raitano said.

The Aviles family planned ahead in making their resolution of traveling more a reality.  Their tickets are already booked for a European vacation in 2013.

"You put your foot down and you plan," said Addy Aviles.  "You say we're doing it."

Smoking is also a popular New Year's resolution.  The habit is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.  Each year in this country, about 392,000 smokers die from tobacco-related illnesses.  And so each year, smokers heading down that path make a promise.

"I'm going to stop smoking cigars and probably stop buying them," John Raymond shared with FOX 13.

Jerry Morris has been smoking for 40 years and tried to quit before.  He says 2013 will be different.

"My wife quit just a couple of weeks ago and my hats off to her," said Morris.  "I've purchased an electronic cigarette, and I'm going to try to step down to that and then work my way down from there."

Dr. Raitano helps smokers quit every New Year.  Whether hypnosis or cold turkey, she said the right mindset is everything.

"If you want to become a non-smoker, you have to think about it, plan it, and develop the mantra, 'I am a non-smoker,'" she said.  "If you are saying repeatedly, I am a non-smoker, your brain gets the message.  Well, wait a minute.  So, this is how you get off to the good start."

It's one of the most difficult resolutions to keep.  Six out of 10 smokers quit and start up again before they actually kick the habit for good.

The experts remind that it doesn't have to be New Year's to change our lives.

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