Realistic Resolutions

By Anna Sachse

Posted December 31, 2008 in Mind Body Spirit

It’s that time of year again—the time when we all wake up horribly hungover on January 1st, seriously regretting the 30 cigarettes we smoked last night, wishing we’d not opted to have sex with the person (or persons) lying next to us and/or cursing the three bacon-wrapped hotdogs we ate at 4AM, when suddenly we remember that we blew our rent at that cheesy club last night just to get a table and a cheap bottle of champagne. 


We wake up to this nightmare and swear that we’re going to change! We have a brand new bouncing baby year ahead of us which means 365 days to get healthier, more responsible, thinner and wealthier. We make resolutions!


And then we break them. 


According to the fourth annual survey conducted by the time management company FranklinCovey Products, more than 75 percent of the 527 respondents will break their New Year’s resolutions within three months and almost one third will break them by the end of January. How do they predict this? Forty-three percent say they are not committed to the New Year’s resolutions they set and 25 percent say they have too many other things to do. 


Part of the problem is that people tend to set huge, unreasonable goals for themselves. In our desperation to better ourselves (or alleviate the guilt for everything we’ve done in the past) most New Year’s resolutions are typically either too drastic or too time-consuming. What people fail to see is that setting yourself small goals leads to quicker, easier satisfaction which makes you feel good about yourself and often leads to setting additional goals so that, in the end, you more likely to achieve that big goal anyway.


On that note, here are a few suggestions to help you get started on making the right kind of resolutions in the last “00” year of our lifetime.


1. Lose five pounds. A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, thus to lose a pound, you will need to burn 3,500 more calories than you need to consume in order to stay at a normal weight. Break it down to 500 calories per day. Run five miles or walk six and you’re there. Or cut that exercise in half and trim 250 calories from your diet instead. After one week, you will lose one pound. If your goal is 50 pounds, one pound might sound like nothing, but you’re one fifth of the way through a five pound goal. Keep it up and one month later, if need be, you can go for another five.


2. Spend less and save more. Getting out of debt usually tops the list in most Top 10s regarding New Year’s resolutions, and it seems especially pertinent now in our crap-ass economy. Get started by cutting out one unnecessary expense, such as that daily venti Frappuccino or—and here you’re covering two resolutions in one—buying cigarettes (you can still bum them). If you can afford it, put that money you would have spent in a savings account. After one year you will have saved about $1,825. If you actually quit smoking, you might also save your life.


3. Stop using so many f’n bags. This one small step goes a long way in protecting our resources and cutting down on trash. You are an asshole if you have your groceries bagged in paper and then put that bag in a plastic bag. Paper is better than plastic, but if you can carry what you buy in your hands or purse, don’t get any bag. Better yet, bring your own. If we take care of our planet this year, it might not resolve to shed weight by losing some of us.


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