Resolution time

Early January. The dawn of a new year. Besides adjusting to the plunging temperatures and coming to terms with the biting realities of winter, it’s also that time of year when folks pledge to lose weight, stop smoking, sponsor a child overseas, read more, watch less television, spend more time with friends, go for daily walks, join a gym or whatever. The joys of New Year’s resolutions.

There are a myriad of resolutions a person could focus on.

It must have to do with the idea of new beginnings that a New Year brings. Why not attempt a lifestyle change and start 2013 on the right foot?

Not so fast. Behaviours that seem so built-in don’t just crumble to pieces in the space of a few weeks. As we all know too well, most resolutions are but distant memories by the middle of February.

Why? Maybe we expect too much of ourselves, or the resolution itself is just plain unrealistic in terms of timing.

Experts say it’s better to make general changes, or at least think of achieving the goal in smaller steps. Don’t bemoan the fact you really should drop about 50 lbs. Think of it in more achievable ways, like focusing on losing 10 lbs and adopting a healthier, more active lifestyle. How many people dump hundreds of dollars into joining a gym with all the bells and whistles only to drop out two or three months later? Gyms are great, but if it’s really not your thing and you know it’s not your thing, perhaps consider other more ways to bolster your fitness level.

As for smoking, there are lots of resources out there to help smokers kick the habit. Surrounding oneself with support seems to be the key to success in so many of the areas where we want to change.

Whatever your resolution is, you truly have to want to do it no matter what the time of year is. Sometimes people say they want to change an aspect of their lives, but do they really? We’ve all been down the road of announcing to friends and family that this is the year we are going to do such and such. But the burden of such a big change turns out to be far more than what we bargained for.

It’s the individual choice made deep down inside that will likely make for the biggest change. We all know those turning points in life when we are truly ready to take a step in a brand new direction and drop a habit, or pick up some new ones to improve our lives. It’s worth considering as the New Year gets underway and we dream of exciting new changes that will make our lives better.

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