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New Year's resolutions - what a waste

January 02, 2007|by AL WUNDERLICH

I have only one New Year's resolution: Never make a New Year's resolution.

Although I am fairly anti-New Year's resolution, I am very pro-resolution. I just don't understand why people wait for Jan. 1 to resolve to improve themselves.

Also, often times those resolutions are soon forgotten. Take a common example of a New Year's resolution: "This year, I will get my body back in shape." I remember I went to the YMCA one day soon after New Year's, and the entire place was packed with people. There was not a treadmill available. In two to three weeks, it was back to normal. I guess people just gave up.

Many resolutions are too general. I mean, if you have something in your life that you would like to improve, make a goal that you can follow through on. For instance, "I would like to get back in shape," is not the most specific goal. It's not easily quantifiable.

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It makes more sense to say something like, "From now on, I will try to become healthier by going to the gym every other day and watching what I eat." This gives a specific, achievable goal, which makes it more likely you will have a successful outcome.

Resolving something in your life is not as simple as making a resolution and then doing it. It takes much more effort by following through more than one day or one week.

Another problem that I have with New Year's resolutions is waiting until Jan. 1 to make a resolution. If you successfully pull off a resolution and you think that the new year's beginning was motivation to look through your life, fine. Personally, I think you should do that more than once a year. I say don't wait until New Year's Day. If you want to make a resolution on Jan. 1, fine, but continue to resolve yourself throughout the year.

Bottom line: Avoid worthless, pointless and unrealistic resolutions. If you want to improve yourself, come up with specific goals that are quantifiable, and try to evaluate and improve yourself throughout the year.

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