Keeping New Year’s resolutions

Five… Four… Three… Two… One! Happy New Year! At 12 a.m. on Jan.1, 2010, the clock began to tick away the first few seconds of your New Year’s resolution.

Four days have passed and have you even started it? Jan. 1, 2010, marks the beginning of a new year and, for many, a new mind set.

That mindset is the same source that triggers the drive to achieve great accomplishments and personal victories.

It is, essentially, optimism for a year to change one’s life. However, this hope barely makes it past a week, or a month if you’re diligent, before the resolution is broken.

New Year’s resolutions are a common tradition for the stressed, overweight, and broke.

However, many of these long-time traditions are short-lived. According to a survey by Stephen Shapiro, author of Goal-Free Living, only 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, which seems to be a decrease from previous years.

Out of that 45 percent who make a New Year’s resolution, apparently only 8 percent always succeed.

With such a low success rate, one should wonder how and why so many people are failing.

New Years Resolutions Cartoon (Ben Harthun)Many goals are simply too unrealistic to begin with. Losing 100 or more pounds in a year is achievable. However, most of us are not the average “Biggest Loser” contestant. A more realistic goal would be to lose 50 pounds in a year. In this goal, roughly one pound is shed per week.

Because of the poor economy, resolutions for saving money in the year 2010 have become increasingly popular.

According to a survey by Fidelity Investments, saving money has become just as much of a priority as losing weight.

Having weight loss and financial gain at a tie indicates a somewhat gluttonous nation.

One might think a good idea would be to cut down on the food bills.

However, what many don’t realize is that healthy food is oftentimes more expensive than the dollar menu at Jack in the Box.

While most goals or resolutions claim to add new habits to one’s life, some are to break old ones.

Breaking habits such as smoking, drinking, using drugs or spending money all take discipline and should be replaced with a type of reward or healthier habit.

Addiction is a key component in bad habits, and many people need more motivation than the average New Year’s Resolution.

However, making annual goals for oneself is not a total crapshoot. People with goals are much more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t even bother.

If the possibility of failure haunts you, just remind yourself that if you don’t try for something that you want, you’ve already failed by not giving it a chance.

“Normally, I don’t make (New Year’s resolutions) because I don’t think that I can keep them, but this year I’m going to resolve to work out five days a week,” said Bellevue College student Courtney Polich.

New Year’s resolutions are not set up for failure; they are an opportunity to succeed if you go into them with the right attitude.

While there are many tips to succeed, such as writing down a detailed description of your goal, creating short goals within the big goal, and tracking progress, the main point is to keep the commitment you made to yourself.

Resolutions are always going to be hard to keep and accomplish so try to tackle them with freinds or family.

It will be much easier to eat healthy and go to the gym if you have your best friend or roommate eating healthy with you or pumping you up to go to the gym with them.

It’s also easier to avoid drinking and smoking when you surround yourself with people who will abstain as well.

Your friends and you can come up with alternatives to going to bars or clubs and have clean sober fun. It’s all about strength in numbers.

When done properly, New Year’s resolutions can empower your sense of self tremendously.