Broke your New Year’s resolutions? Here’s how to get on track again

OK, people, you’ve managed to make it through the first three weeks of January. How are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? Have you been able to keep all of then? Any of them? Have you even tried?

The turn of the calendar to the new year is a time we sincerely make an effort to save more, maybe lose weight and get in better shape, change some of our bad habits or even improve on our good ones but … just as easily as we make those resolutions, we break them.

I try to attribute the newfound dedication to fitness and healthy living we see every January to the start of a new year, a fresh beginning or just a good way of setting a start date for a goal. I hate to discourage anyone with this positive “refreshing new attitude,” but why do we have so much trouble following through?

Well, let me tell you why. It’s because if you need that “New Year’s Resolution” as motivation, that tells me and you that your “resolution” is not a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month priority or way of life.

We make “resolutions” year-round. We say we’re going to be more active, make wise financial investments, stop cursing so much, eat less, drink less and stop smoking, just to name a few. What makes the start of the “New Year” more important? Just because it’s Feb. 1 that’s looming and not Jan. 1 doesn’t mean that you can’t start now.

I find when talking with individuals regarding these objectives or goals that many do not consider them lifestyle changes but rather goals, meaning what, that it is temporary? A goal is nice to reach, but not for one day or one month. The biggest mistake people make is setting unobtainable “goals.”

This, as past experience has shown, opens up the door for that famous excuse, where you say, “Well, it’s better than nothing.” When you do that, you give yourself an out, and the only proper response to that is a hearty “Booo!”

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be realistic and be accepting of your own limitations. We are always saying, “I’ll start Monday,” “I’ll start in the fall,” “I’ll start in the summer,” “I’ll start after the holidays.” And it’s time for that to end.

Whatever your goal might be, stop the excuses. The lifestyle you live is your day-to-day personal “resolution.” I assume if you need someone to tell you that drinking in excess is bad or eating too much is bad or not getting enough sleep is bad or not exercising is bad or not being responsible with money is bad, well, then “Houston, we have a problem!”

Make your day-to-day actions when and if possible your ongoing personal “New Year’s resolution.” Try making Feb. 1 and March 1 and all the months through the year a time for “New Year’s resolutions.”

I am confident this will set you up for a more realistic and less intimidating experience. Let your new lifestyle be your ongoing goal. This will hopefully make next January just another month.


Mike Pernice is one of the most sought after fitness personalities in the area and brings more than 20 years’ experience as a personal trainer and lifestyle/weight management counselor. This is a special contribution to the Post. To reach Mike Pernice e-mail [email protected] or write him at P.O. Box 1151, Greenwich CT 06830.

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