Resolutions? What Resolutions?

Happy New Year, my friends. So, tell me, how many New Year’s resolutions have you broken so far?

It’s OK to admit you’ve broken a few, if not all of them.

You made those resolutions with good intentions, fully intending to follow through. But just a couple of days into 2006 you’ve fallen off the resolution bandwagon.

But you’re not alone. Right now there are thousands of people just like you who are shaking their heads wondering what went wrong.

Now, I have a sure-fire formula for never breaking resolutions. In fact, it’s because of this formula that I haven’t broken a resolution in about 10 years. I’ll share it with you in a minute but first, let’s look at some of the most common resolutions and see why they are destined to fail from the very start.

Perhaps the #1 New Year’s resolution people make is to lose weight. If you consider the obesity epidemic in our country, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But to lose weight by resolving to begin a diet on January 1st is a terrible way to go about it.

Let me set the scenario for you.

You wake up on New Year’s Day and realize that apparently someone forgot to tell the holiday cookie fairy to put away those treats left over from the party you had the night before.

Not only did the treats not vaporize while you were asleep, you also have a bad case of the post New Year’s eve hangover munchies thanks to that extra glass of champagne you had right before dawn. So, you reach over into that plate of fudge brownies drizzled in powdered sugar that just happen to be next to the coffee maker, pop one into your mouth and suddenly you feel like Adam biting into the apple.

Then it hits you, resolution guilt.

Before you know it, you’re teetering on the brink of sugar-induced amnesia (Resolution? What resolution?) Oh, well, I can always start my diet next Monday, you say to yourself as you reach for a second melt-in-your-mouth decadent treat.

Did you ever stop to consider that the first three letters of the word diet spell DIE! It’s no wonder resolutions to diet don’t work.

Let’s look at another popular resolution… exercise!

I’ve been a runner for 25 years. I begin each New Year with a run. It’s a kind of mediation during which I ponder what I want to accomplish in the next 12 months. For some reason, I see more people on the roads on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year.

I call these folks Resolution Runners. They are all decked out in expensive sweat suits and just about every heart rate monitor and gadget you can imagine. And their running shoes are so new they have the box they came out of still attached to them.

They wave and smile as if to say, “Look at me, I’m a runner now.” Unfortunately, the next time I run into them is at Publix where they lower their eyes in shame and pretend they don’t know who I am as we pass each other by the Twinkies shelf.

Resolutions seem to be our attempt to fix something we feel is wrong with us.

But here’s the problem. Most of us consider resolutions all-or-nothing endeavors.
And that’s precisely why so many of them are broken. The minute we do one tiny thing that we swore we wouldn’t do, we consider ourselves a failure and abandon the resolution altogether.

For example, if you resolve to never eat anything unhealthy ever again and you take a tiny taste of Ben & Jerry’s newest flavor ice cream, you are just one spoonful away from cuddling up on the couch with a gallon of the stuff.

Who invented New Year’s resolutions anyway? What were they thinking?

But as I mentioned earlier, there’s a guaranteed way to never break your resolutions.

It’s quite simple really. Don’t make any resolutions. And if you do want to make positive changes in your life, resolve not to call them resolutions.

Forget the all-or-nothing attitude. That will keep you out of trouble and guilt-free all year round. Take things one day at a time. Have fun. And if you ‘fail’ once in a while, chalk it up to experience, dust yourself off and keep going.

Just don’t make any more resolutions. The word itself has very negative connotations… especially on January 1st.

Happy New Year!

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