Inspired by the New Year

New Year’s Resolutions offer the impetus for us to make a commitment to something we want to change in our lives. I’ve only ever made one resolution, when I eschewed meat many moons ago, because I stuck to it and was afraid of ruining my perfect record. But at the end of every year, I find myself reviewing my life and evaluating what changes I could make for the better. So even though I haven’t since officially declared a resolution, I’ve certainly been inspired to act.

I’d love to make a resolution to travel more, to see amazing site like these wart hogs playing near a campfire in Swaziland, but it’s unrealistic.

Whether you are a resolution maker or, like me, just someone who reconsiders your life with the hope of a new start in the New Year, the biggest reason for failure is a lack of strategizing. Even the best of intentions won’t materialize without figuring out how to implement changes. A perfect example is the surge in gym memberships every January.

People want to get fit and feel better–and are even willing to shell out big bucks for the privilege and the incentive it provides to encourage them to, lest they should waste all that money. But the reality of it is that without figuring out what trade-offs they’re willing to make to fit in regular work-outs, ambition and the cost of a gym membership isn’t going to be enough of an incentive. (In fact, gyms actually count on people subscribing but waning very quickly as a way to boost their profits, since it won’t necessitate actually expanding to accommodate more exercisers.)

I love hiking, but realized I only took advantage of it when I was traveling, like this hike in Slovakia. Last year I resolved to regularly hike and have since managed to get in one or two hikes a week (and am much happier for it!).

When I decided to embark on my lifestyle change, I committed to making a plan, rather than responding to yet another knee-jerk reaction to my frustration of being overweight and unhappy. I Pre-Planned my Lifestyle Change, determined not to fall into the trap of losing weight, only to gain it back for the umpteenth time. I researched different plans, worked out a time-frame, and decided on an approach. Having failed countless times before, I’m convinced that this strategy is what facilitated my success.


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