Sat, Feb

Realism key to keep resolutions in the new year

Editors Notebook

Exercise more.

Stop smoking.

Drink less.

Eat healthy.

Save money.

Spend more time with family.

Every year Americans vow to drop the vice with the tightest hold on their lives. Every year, most people fail.

The reason for failure? Setting the bar too high, not having an effective plan to achieve the resolution and expecting to fail all play a part in keeping people from bettering themselves year by year, dropping one habit at a time.

If one of the above reasons prevents most people from keeping their resolution, a new way to go about the tradition needs to be established.

I suggest lowering the bar. Why continually set yourself up for disappointment at the beginning of each year? Instead, be realistic and save yourself the inevitable feeling of failure.

Make keeping a resolution simple to boost confidence and create the feeling of accomplishment as you set out to conquer another year.

How about, “I resolve to brush my teeth,” or “I will drink water.”

The right resolution is foolproof and guarantees success.

I suggest taking baby steps. The first year on this program, resolve to do something you absolutely can’t fail at, something a child or intelligent animal does naturally. By doing this, you’re bound to feel great when it’s time to set the next resolution.

Then, you’ll be ready to up the ante.

Resolve to drive on the right side of the road only or take the trash out when it’s full. The second year’s resolution needs to include a task commonly accomplished by most people, but able to be shattered with one swift yank of the steering wheel.

Every year, set your sights approximately 1 millimeter higher and positive results are almost guaranteed.

By following the realists’ resolution regiment, within 20 to 25 years a participant can expect to reach a level where quitting smoking or drinking, exercising more or saving money truly can be achieved.

Until then, don’t get ahead of yourself.