In My Opinion: New Year’s Resolutions

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A blog from FOX 4’s Charly Arnolt.

It’s day five of 366 and all I keep hearing about are people’s plans for this year. From losing weight to learning a new language to finding a boyfriend. I think I’ve heard them all. The thing that most people neglect to remember is that New Year’s resolutions are meant to be year-long commitments, not just something you dive head-first into for the month of January and then abandon once life gets the best of you.

Let’s use the example of losing weight. I am a dedicated gym member and you will see me doing some sort of exercise four to five days a week, 52 weeks a year. With that being said, it really bothers me when half the population makes the “commitment” to lose weight and then floods the gym for the first few weeks of the year, making it nearly impossible for me to find an open treadmill or elliptical. While I realize it’s not my gym, and I have to share, it bothers me knowing that in a few short weeks I won’t see most of these people ever again because they, like most, have lost sight of their resolution.

There’s no way you can completely turn around one aspect of your life in a few weeks, or even a few months, which many people attempt to do at the beginning of a new year. Therefore, I am proposing a gradual change, one that possibly gets more intense as the year goes on and you have proven your dedication. And even if it doesn’t get more intense, at least make it be a consistent work in progress. If you try to push yourself too hard too soon, it’s likely you will burn yourself out and then revert back to your pre- New Year’s resolution self.

With this thought in mind, we’ll go back to the gym example. Instead of forcing yourself to exercise everyday for the month of January, instead commit to three to four days a week of moderate exercise and combine it with a healthy diet. You’ll see better results and it won’t be overwhelming to reach your goal. If you keep up the pace, by March or April it will become more of a lifestyle rather than a resolution — and one that will stretch far past 2012.

I am not intending to lecture. I, myself, have a lot of work to do this year. I have found that it’s helpful to break up your resolutions into categories, such as mind, body, professional, relationships and miscellaneous. This assists in making you more well-rounded. Here are a few of my resolutions:

1) Body: Eat 50% less junk food than I currently do.

2) Mind: Practice reading/speaking Spanish for one hour, four times a week in order to regain my fluency.

3) Professional: Build up my contacts in the Kansas City area.

4) Relationships: Practice patience. (This will be a tough one for me.)

5) Miscellaneous: STOP texting while driving. (This is one EVERYONE should make!)

If you set your mind to do something, you will achieve it. However, it’s easy to lose the mental will to accomplish your goal if you push yourself to an unrealistic level. So again, make it gradual, and turn your goal into a lifestyle.

Now get off my treadmill! Unless I can count on seeing you on it all year long :)

Happy New Year!

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