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New Year’s Resolutions

There’s a story of an elderly man who was cleaning out his attic when he came across an old trunk. He opened it and found many treasured keepsakes from his youth. Among the mementos was the valedictory speech he’d delivered at graduation so many years before. As he read it, he felt some twinges of guilt. He found himself wondering what had happened to all those wonderful hopes and dreams he’d been so confident of accomplishing. He realized, and had to admit to himself, that he’d settled for less. He’d been busy all these years, but what had he truly achieved? What went wrong?

I once saw a poster that had a rocking horse prominently pictured and a caption that read “Don’t confuse motion for progress. A rocking horse keeps moving, but doesn’t make any progress.” And isn’t it progress that we’re after, not just movement?

This all brings me to New Year’s Resolutions for 2013. A resolution is a commitment to a new beginning or lifestyle change. In religion, making resolutions is very serious and is called repentance. One major study found that even though a majority of the resolution makers were sure they would succeed, only about 10% ultimately did.

The most common themes for resolutions are: 1) Financial 2) Relationships 3) Education/Intellectual 4) Spiritual 5) Exercise 6) Nutrition/Weight Loss. Concerning nutrition and weight loss, there’s an old English proverb that says, “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” That’s good counsel.

Recently Jay Leno quipped, “Now there are more overweight people in America than average weight people. So, overweight people are now average, which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.” Don’t end up like our old man in the attic with regrets, filled with coulda, woulda, shouldas. To increase your chance at success be specific, plan, write it down, and tell others so you have some healthy supportive peer pressure.

Don’t be like the guy who made a resolution to quit making the same old excuses. He said, “I make the same excuses each year why I’ll do better next year and it’s getting pretty old. This year I resolve to come up with some new excuses instead.”

So as Oprah once said, “Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Learn more about Dr. Steve Weston

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