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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.


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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