Here’s how to follow through on New Year’s resolutions

Published 1:35 pm Thursday, January 19, 2012

It’s the New Year and we all know what that means:  the dreaded New Year’s resolution.  If you’re like most people, you’ve probably experienced that sudden burst of motivation that the New Year brings.  The real resolution isn’t what resolution it’s going to be, but how many years have I made this resolution and how long will it last?

Gyms start booming this time of the New Year and will begin to taper off in a few months.  Why is this?  Many people go to the gym in full force, determined to shed those holiday pounds.  What happens?  About a month later, we get burned out, bored, tired and lose our motivation.

Many times we will make a pact with a friend saying, “if you do it, I will do it.”  This makes it more fun because you have someone to help pass the time and keep you accountable to your goal.  Then the friend decides they do not have time and quits so you quit because you do not want to do it by yourself.

How can we prevent dropping out?  Let’s look at some strategies to help our resolutions work.

• Choose the right resolution

READY: Resolutions tend to fail because they are not made with serious intent and deliberation.

SET: Decide what resolution you want and why.

GOAL: Make it official.  Set dates on how and when you are going to accomplish the goal. Be detailed. Set a progressive timeline stating your weekly goals.

• More than just losing weight

Studies show that regular exercise increases vigor, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, improves blood pressure, flexibility, posture, immune system, diabetes, bone mass and sleep, strengthens the cardiorespiratory system, relieves tension and stress and reduces feelings of depression.  Most of all — working out regularly enhances your quality of life.

• Losing the pounds

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index in 2011 recorded that 62.1 percent of American adults were overweight or obese. According to the CDC, among states, Michigan is in the highest range of obesity (greater than 29.8 percent). Breaking it down among counties, Berrien and Cass are in the highest obesity range (greater than 29.8 percent ) and St. Joseph in Indiana is one range lower (26.3 to 29.7 percent). states, “No state has met the nation’s goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15 percent.”

Although all this information is alarming, I think the most concern is with our youth. This could be the first time our youth won’t live as long as we will because of obesity.  Hopefully, this is enough to make us stick with a healthy weight resolution!

• Make a lifetime goal

You have to have long-term (lifetime) goals.  Otherwise, we will see you next year, same time, same goal.

Hopefully, these tips help.

Find a way to make your resolution fun and keep it a part of your everyday life.