December 29, 1995 in City

Resolve Not To Take The Quick-Fix Route No Resolutions A Better Life Takes Year-Round Effort

Anne Windishar/Editorial Writer
 

The only practical use of a New Year’s resolution is to break it.

Be realistic. How many resolutions make it past the first week of the new year without serious damage or all-out abandonment? A precious few - and those are the ones that probably would have been successful life changes no matter what the calendar date.

What is it about Jan. 1 that makes everyone rush to the gym, swear off smoking or vow to stop drinking? What is it about Jan. 8 that makes the vital goal not so important after all?

Quite simply, Americans are lazy. They look for the quick fix for everything, and assume that a fresh year makes it easier to change.

It’s a mental thing. New beginnings and all that rot. And for some people, it works. But the vast majority of Americans need more than a a new calendar to make significant changes.

It’s not hard to see where the quick-fix mentality comes from. Television bombards people (often the very couch potatoes it’s aiming for) with advertisements for ab crunchers, Thigh Masters and butt blasters. It’s easy, it’s quick - only five minutes a day and you can crack coconuts with your thighs.

The shows themselves aren’t any better. Villains turn to heroes from one season to the next. Kimberly on “Melrose Place” blew up an apartment building last spring, now she’s a budding psychiatrist. Talk about a successful resolution. Wouldn’t you kill for job advancement like that?

But real life is different. It’s harder. It takes real commitment and determination to make positive changes. A butt blaster may work, but it won’t do much good to have a firm backside if your gut still hangs over your belt.

New Year’s resolutions also give people permission to put things off. Summer is a great incentive to lose weight, but once you hit September it’s all too easy to put things off for the new year. That’s four months of gorging and slacking in preparation for the big resolution. By then, you’ll definitely need that diet.

If people were more committed to healthy living - both physically and mentally - year-round, there wouldn’t be any need for silly resolutions that take more energy to break than make.

And it would make life a whole lot easier during those first few weeks of January. For one thing, regulars at the health clubs won’t have to wait in line at the stationary bicycle.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view, see headline: Now’s the time - be resolute about it

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From Both Sides

For opposing view, see headline: Now’s the time - be resolute about it

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From Both Sides


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