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    New Year, New You

    By: Christy V. Temple

    It’s a new year, it’s a new you, or so they say. Each and every year millions of people decide to make so-called New Year’s resolutions and most of them probably fall flat before the end of January. I know I have often lamented over the years that you can always tell its January because each one of the local fitness centers is absolutely overrun with people deciding that they are going to get fit and stay that way forever and forever. Yeah, right. If you also go back to those same fitness centers by the time that mid-February arrives you can get in with no problem at all.

    Honestly, you would think that if someone had started a new routine at the beginning of the year and made it until mid-February that they could somehow continue on afterwards. After all, I’ve always heard that if you can stick with something for at least 4 to 6 weeks then you make a habit out of it and you are less likely to go backwards. Oh well, I guess all these people don’t know about how long it takes to make a habit.

    In any event, it’s not that resolutions are necessarily bad to make but I think most people bite off more than they can chew. After all, you didn’t gain that 20 pounds overnight did you? No, so that means it’s going to take longer than you might think to get that same 20 pounds back off. You have to give yourself the gift of time and patience which I know is hard to reconcile with but it really will pay off if you do.

    After all these years of making my own resolutions and not keeping them at times and getting discouraged, I do have a few insights now that I think are valuable when it comes to wanting to make a change. First of all, don’t try to do it all at once. Start out with something small and once you have that down for a while then move on to something else. You know there is a certain finance guru by the name of Dave Ramsey that has a little program that’s done quite well and it has something to do with “baby steps.”

    Basically, with this program you start with the first step and conquer it and then you move on to the others, one little step-at-a-time. The program has worked for thousands, if not millions of people over the years and really is just plain old common horse-sense. I personally am a follower of the program and where finances are concerned, it definitely works if you put your mind to it, buckle down, and don’t let anyone else tell you differently.

    Additionally, another mantra I tend to follow in terms of resolutions or goals is to make them something achievable to begin with. Don’t set yourself up for automatic failure by choosing something so large that you know in advance there is no way you will ever get to that point. For instance, I do not like running at all so I certainly wouldn’t tell myself that in 3 months or less that I would be in the shape to run a marathon. I know that it isn’t possible and I would give up in the first few days, actually probably the first day to be honest.

    Finally, one of the biggest things I have found is to be true to yourself. Only you can decide what resolutions or goals that you feel are important to set in the first place. Don’t let anyone else talk you into something that you don’t feel comfortable doing. After all, this is your life and only you can decide what is the most important parts of it that you want to expand or explore.

    Hope this New Year finds you setting some goals that really inspire you to be even better and stronger than ever before.

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