To be honest, I don’t really believe in the New Year’s Resolution. By nature I am a person of action and do not need an excuse to make my own life better.
If there is something important in my daily routine that I feel needs improvement I don’t wait for January to make the change. Instead I live by the Nike slogan and Just Do It.
Thus the first question I pose to readers today is:
Does a new digit at the end of the calendar really make it easier to go to the gym or eat a salad?
Next there is the issue of sticking to your Resolution. From what I understand, most people abandon their New Year’s ambitions after a couple months (or even weeks) of half-hearted effort.
To me this proves that resolving to do something is relatively meaningless. In my opinion, if there is any point to this year-end exercise at all, things must actually get done.
Maybe we should change the name to New Year’s Solution?
But perhaps I am too harsh.
Rather than hoping for change, for many people the New Year may simply be a time for reflection and evaluation:
What has and hasn’t worked in 2008? Should I approach anything differently in 2009?
This kind of personal reflection I applaud, but what still troubles me is that so many people make the same Resolutions year after year without ever achieving their goals.
This year I will lose weight! This year I will get in shape! This year I will use my gym membership!
If you don’t believe me take a stroll through your local Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstore and check out the number of diet books on display at the front. Notice their bright pinks and yellows designed to get your attention.
Never is the promotion of weight loss books as shameless as it is in January.
We are all supposed to try our failed resolutions again this year, keeping the hope alive that one of those neon programs will become our salvation and finally we will achieve our lifelong dream of being thin and happy.
I am not interested in this phony brand of Resolution.
Over and over diets have been shown not to work and even promote weight gain, so they are not your answer.
Health problems and body fat do not appear in a single splurge, but rather accumulate bit at a time as a result of poor lifestyle decisions. So it is not logical to believe that a quick, short-term weight loss will correct them.
This year (as in every year) I recommend moderation as the best solution for health. And I propose that the most effective way to build good habits and reduce bad ones is to make small, gradual changes to your daily routine.
Moderate changes that you can easily manage are the ones that can be maintained and built upon.
If you do intend to make changes to your habits this year, I wish you the best of luck. I designed this blog to provide tips, advice and information to help cultivate a practical, healthy lifestyle.
My approach begins with establishing the mentality that diets don’t work and health is achieved through habits, not single actions. With a handful of tools and simple tricks, even the busiest among us can streamline health to be an automatic part of our lives.
To get the most out of Thought for Food, subscribe via email or RSS feed.
On a final note, the road to health begins with inspiration.
This year I would love to learn your personal New Year’s Resolution success stories. Were you ever able to quit smoking? Maintain your workout routine? Lose weight? Adopt a new hobby?
I invite you to share with us your New Year’s Solution and tell us what obstacles you overcame and why you think you were able to achieve your goal.
Your success could inspire the rest of us to find New Year’s Solutions of our own!
Discuss Thought for Food:
- Does the New Year help you make improvements in your life?
- Do you think there is a difference between a Resolution and a Solution?
- Is moderation a reasonable alternative to dieting?
- Do you have a New Year’s Solution to share?