2014-01-02 / Editorial

A New Year brings a fresh beginning

If you are like the majority of us, you will have made a New Year’s resolution or two. It’s only human nature. The clock moves forward to a fresh calendar year and we reflect on how we can improve ourselves in the coming months.

But first we celebrate. The New Year usually means a champagne toast and a party. There’s football to watch on television.

The New Year also brings a time for reflection. We’ve turned a page. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. A personal makeover, so to speak. We want to change our lives for the better. The new you, if only you can follow through with that personal commitment.

Probably the most common New Year’s resolutions in 2014 will be to lose weight or get in shape. I fall into that category. Resolved: I will go to the gym. At age 56, I figure it is time to once again work on some muscle tone just to stay in shape for sailing and skiing. Experts say other common resolutions include quitting smoking, improving one’s financial position, traveling, changing jobs and being a better family member or friend.

The experts say although most of us tend toward making New Year’s resolutions, few of us will really follow through on those resolutions. Six months later those resolutions will have fallen by the wayside and forgotten. Just ask any gym owner.

The key to success in your New Year’s resolution is keeping your goals modest. Don’t set the bar too high, the experts say, and you’ll stand a better chance of achieving your resolution. Instead of resolving to lose weight, they say you will have better success if you set a modest goal. So, resolve to lose 10 pounds by the first of March. That should be easy, right?

I already try to walk 2 to 3 miles every other day. So I will add to that exercise regimen by resolving to go to the gym on the days I don’t walk.

Historians report that the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions can be found in different cultures around the world, but it is most prolific in the west.

So if you have made a New Year’s resolution, don’t be afraid to refine it. Define your resolution to make it possible for you to achieve your goal. You’ll be much happier with the results.

— Jeff McDonough

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