Resolution quandary

It’s that time of year again when folks around the world pledge to lose weight, stop smoking, slow down, be more financially responsible, sponsor a child overseas, volunteer at the local soup kitchen, find a mate, read more, watch less television, spend more time with friends, go for daily walks, join a gym or whatever.

The list is endless for New Year’s resolutions. It’s an interesting concept, and must have to do with the idea of new beginnings that a New Year inevitably brings. It does seem to mark a fresh start. The slate is clean, so why not attempt a lifestyle change and start the New Year on the right foot.

The problem is that New Year’s resolutions rarely last past February. Come Jan. 2nd, gyms will be flooded with new members for example. By the end of January, those numbers plunge. People just generally don’t stick to their plans.

Why is this? People likely set their goals too high to begin with and ultimately set themselves up for failure. There could be too much pressure for making the resolutions in the first place. Perhaps if they were made at other times of the year, the feelings of pressure wouldn’t be felt so much.

Experts say it’s better to make general lifestyle changes, or at least think of achieving the goal in smaller steps. Don’t think of losing 50 lbs; just think of losing eight or 10 to start with. Think about ways to be more active in general; if the gym isn’t your thing then don’t bother – it would be a complete waste of money.

There are lots of other activities out there to bolster your fitness level and help you shed those pounds. There’s little point in signing up for something that you don’t enjoy – ultimately, you will never follow through with it. It’s a tough, expensive lesson many of us have learned over the years.

As for smoking, there are lots of resources out there to help smokers kick the habit. It takes time and patience. And maybe that’s the problem with resolutions – they aren’t a quick fix, and consideration of time and patience seem to go out the window.

Whatever your resolution is, you truly have to want to do it no matter what the time of year is. Announcing a New Year’s resolution simply for the sake of it is setting yourself up, in all likelihood, for failure. Go easy on yourself with some positive plans for 2015 and try to incorporate them into your life. Small steps in the right direction are the way to go.

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