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A positive way to make your new year’s resolutions work

Updated on December 27, 2011

Don't kid yourself

Yeah, it’s that time of the year again. We’ve lived excessively for the past 12 months and we know that we should change our lifestyle. A new year marks a new beginning and there’s no better time to change our bad habits. So we come up with all kinds of new year’s resolutions. We’ll quit smoking, drinking, lose 30 pounds and ban chocolate and coffee. But there are still a few days left and we make up for it. Bring it on, our new life is only starting next year!

So January 1st comes around. We’ve partied all night and are in urgent need of a cup of strong coffee. We nibble on some leftovers and the chocolates we got for Christmas. Later on some friends pop in to wish a happy new year and of course like civilized human beings, we have to drink to that. We realize, this is definitely not the day to start with our new regimen. The festive season is not over yet and our new life will start once we have to go back to work. By then reality sets in and we have already half-heartedly abandoned most plans. Why bother, after all life is tough enough as it is. So why suffer unnecessarily?

If all of this sounds familiar to you, then you are the average homo sapien. A weak-willed human in self-denial. According to statistics the average new year’s resolution last only for 8-9 days. Actually, this is amazingly long, if you think about it. So why can’t we make our new year’s resolutions work? Simply, because we want too much! Let’s face it, most people have to check into rehab to quit drinking or go to a boot camp to lose 30 pounds. So why should any of our other addictions be different? We can’t seriously think that we’ll quit something from one minute to the next, simply because it’s a new year.

A friend recently suggested that instead of making new year’s resolutions that we can’t stick to, we should rather add something desirable to our bucket list. After all, the beginning of a new year should be something positive, a sign of hope and optimism. I guess she has a valid point. But where do you get the money for an expensive trip or a luxurious adventure? It’s quite simple:

You create a piggy bank and reward yourself for each cigarette you don’t smoke, each beer or coffee you don’t drink and each chocolate or donut you don’t eat. You don’t give up the stuff altogether, you just reduce it. In that way your piggy bank will grow, your bucket list will become more attainable and your health should improve. After a while, you will automatically quit your bad habits and before you know it, you’ll be sitting on a tropical island 10 pounds lighter.

Have a happy and healthy new year. May your sorrows only last as long as your new years resolutions!


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