Ease Into Your New Year’s Resolutions

By: Toni Cunningham | December 30, 2013

New Year’s resolutions are like fuzzy Christmas socks. You think they’re super fancy, put them to use once or twice, and then when the joyous season is over, you stuff them in the back of your closet until the following November when it’s time to start thinking about them again.

Do you ever wonder why New Year’s resolutions typically don’t work? Because everyone commits to the same dang ones, and they’re typically tough to maintain.

Here is a brief summary of typical resolutions and why they, well, stink:

Lose weight by exercising daily!

Come the first of January, you’re pumped to hit the gym. You spent your Christmas bonus on some snazzy new running shoes, and your yoga pants are about to see the gym for the first time in their lives. You join a gym for $10 a month, go pump some iron for six days straight, and then you realize your biceps are way too sore to go this last day of the week. “I just need one rest day,” you say. Even professional bodybuilders take a rest day from training, surely this is okay, you assure yourself. It’s now the day after rest day, but oh dear, would you look at that? It’s snowing outside. “I don’t want to risk my safety driving around the corner to the gym. I might as well take a second rest day, as my abs also feel a tad sore, too, now that I think about it.” Would you look at that, more snow! Oh my! Where did those tulips come from? It’s May already?

Bottom line: Absolutely no one makes it to the gym every day (if you do, you’re pretty crazy in my book), and the best way to stay accountable is to find your lazy self a workout buddy and ease into finding a good routine you will stick with.

Eliminate pop/coffee/alcohol and drink water! 

Picture this: it’s the first day back at work since the holiday break, and you haven’t had a cup of coffee. You’re definitely not a morning person, and are certainly one of those people who utters the phrase, “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee.” You painfully make your way through the morning, growing more irritable with each passing second. It’s now lunchtime, when you typically down a 20 oz. bottle of something caffeinated. Three o’clock hits, and you’re so tired, your head is about to hit your desk, and you totally would take a siesta if it weren’t for the pounding migraine you’re currently suffering from due to cutting caffeine cold turkey. By the end of the day you snap at your boss, throw a fit Office Space style, and start the year off by getting canned. Also, you didn’t have your coffee.

Bottom line: Everything in moderation! I once tried to cut out pop, and it worked for about a month. Cut back on your pop/coffee/alcohol intake, but if it’s going to make you miserable and/or violent, certainly don’t cut it out entirely.

Stop being lazy! 

Whenever you see a commercial with a baby seal stuck in a pop can ring or think about a little birdy choking on the piece of gum you tossed out your car window, it brings a tear to your eye. “I need to be more ‘green,’” you think. “No more messing around, time to improve my carbon footprint. I’m going to create separate receptacles for recycling paper and cans, and I’m going to implement Meatless Mondays at home!” Oh, but today is Monday. And you’re really craving a cheeseburger. But now this fast food wrapper is taking up space in your car. And there’s ketchup on it. Perhaps if you just toss it out the window in the general direction of this trashcan, it will make it. “Perhaps I can start this “saving the Earth” program tomorrow,” you say, “in addition to eating right, nixing caffeine, improving my road rage, and volunteering in my spare time.”

Bottom line: This resolution goes hand in hand with the workout one—just get off your butt and do something, don’t attempt to do EVERYTHING. Also, recycle.

Finally stop smoking! 

Consider this: if you really wanted to stop smoking, you’d stop smoking on a random Wednesday because you realized it’s a disgusting habit and you don’t want to have shriveled black lungs, or speak through a box in your old age, or have nicotine stained hands and teeth for all eternity.

Bottom line: If you really want to quit a bad habit, why wait? Kick your bad habits when you want to, not when the calendar tells you to.

Pay off all debt and credit card loans!

Hahaha, yeah right.

Good luck making (and following) your 2014 resolutions and have a Happy New Year!