Northeast Wisconsin
January 2012

January 2012

365.

That’s the number of days in a year. It’s also the number of opportunities you get to make a change, hopefully positive. Whether it’s a personal goal you’d like to accomplish, or someone else’s life you want to make better, each day you are given a choice: continue to do things the way you’ve been doing them the previous 364 days. Or do something else.

Jan. 1 is the day many of us make our New Year’s resolutions. Statistics vary, but most research indicates upwards of 50 percent of Americans make resolutions, many of them health-related. For many, it’s a mere three weeks later that most of those good intentions go by the wayside. Fast forward 24 months and you’ll find 84 percent of those people have fallen off the resolution wagon.

I’m not in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions. Unless you really “work” your plan it’s usually a recipe for failure. And, really, if something is that important, why put it off until Jan. 1?

That said, if you choose Jan. 1 as “the big day,” there are a number of things you can do to help ensure success. One is to write down your goals. Seeing something on paper is a visual reminder of what you’re trying to do. You can refer to it as often as you’d like for reinforcement.

Or, if you see the positive aspect to peer pressure, tell someone about your goals. A friend or family member can help keep you accountable. And there’s nothing like the coworker you pass in the breakroom who says, “How’s the diet going?” to keep you on the straight and narrow.

I like the satisfaction of crossing things off my to-do list and knowing a treat awaits for a job well done is my personal carrot on a stick (although mine typically takes the form of chocolate).

Make a resolution if you’re so inclined. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your goals. Remember, there’s always tomorrow.

Cheers to a healthy, happy 2012!

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