It’s the old New Years rigmarole.

There are a few predominant New Year’s Resolutions.  We have a tendency to repeat, or do-si-do the top ones from years past.  Topping the lists include: spending more time with family, quitting smoking, eating better, exercising more, learning something new. However, come February most of us falter and stumble. So what gives?

A huge part of the problem is that we aim too high.  While it’s absolutely possible to quit cold turkey, to cut our caloric intake down to 1200 a day, or to tell ourselves we’re going to wake up every cold winter morning at 6 am and go for that jog—it isn’t as realistic as we pretend to believe.  And that’s another part of the problem. We don’t even believe ourselves when we aim that high. We expect to fail, and we let ourselves off the hook much more easily.

So, take stock of the reality of your situation.  If you want to eat healthier in 2012, spend a week taking note of how you really eat.   Every time you pop a snack, a meal, a sugary soda into your mouth, write it down.  That way, it’s really easy to see what is best to eliminate.  You need real goals, not just the idea of eating healthy. Buddy up. Find someone with a similar goal (whether it be a spouse, best friend, or neighbor) and hold each other accountable.  This also plays a bit into our competitive natures, and will be sure to aid the process.

Be gentle.  We don’t do well with negative conditioning. And if we lambast ourselves because we “failed” it’s that much harder to start all over again.  So, positively affirm your resolution every morning in the mirror.  Sound cheesy? It is.  But it works.

-Arianna Schioldager

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