New year, old promises

The problem with New Year’s resolutions

It happens every year.

We all watch the clock tick down and the ball drop, as Dec. 31 becomes Jan. 1. We kiss someone we love – or someone standing nearby – and not long after, we make a series of promises we have no shot of keeping.

I never really understood New Year’s resolutions. If I were the type of guy that was going to work out three times a week, I would probably already be doing it.

I know many people have made their resolutions and since the year is only two weeks old, I imagine some may actually still be keeping their word. For those barely hanging on to the promises, I will give you the excuses you need to go ahead and get back to your normal lives

Losing weight

I would suspect the most popular New Year’s resolution involves losing weight. According to, 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight. Bad diet habits and lack of exercise seem like easy enough problems to fix, but if that were true, would over 65 percent of U.S. adults be overweight?

Lunch boxes across the country might be filled with celery and carrots today, but it is only a matter of time before the call of deep fried potatoes and chocolate cake begin to overpower the desire to fit into that bikini by Memorial Day. Besides, changing a diet can only do so much. The real key to weight loss remains consistent exercise. Those who have stuck with the plan to jog three times a week this far deserve congratulations, but let’s be honest – television shows and video games will be your activity of choice soon.

The couch did not make that butt shaped imprint on it’s own.

Quitting smoking

Smokers are a curious lot.

The vast majority knows that their habit can cause severe medical problems. Yet, they still light up. In fact, I am willing to bet saving money ranks higher than health concerns on the list of reasons to kick nicotine.

According to, 46.6 million Americans are smokers. Many likely promised to quit, but I suspect two weeks of urges have caused many to already break that promise.

I hate smoking, so I won’t give anyone an excuse to light up. Especially since I know the withdrawal will provide all the excuses needed.

Managing debt

No fancy statistics are needed to illustrate how out of control debt has gotten in this country.  I am willing to bet every person reading this at least knows someone whose credit sits in shambles at this very moment. Going in debt for a car or house is one thing, but having a line of credit at Best Buy or Macy’s just does not make sense. The best approach remains saving money for what you want and spending money on what you need.

We all know better than that, however. After all, how can one be expected to live without a brand new, HD flat screen television? Ladies, I fully expect you to have at least three pairs of shoes for each outfit you own – that makes sense.

Auld Lang Syne

Resolutions are New Year’s traditions – much like singing Auld Lang Syne and toasting midnight with a glass of bubbly. The idea of changing habits for the better is a good one. The problem comes in the implementation of the change.

Old habits die-hard and only the truly committed will follow through on making bad habits into good.

Those who don’t follow through can always try again next year.

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