Keeping Your Resolutions

Tips for Sticking to your New Year’s Resolution
By: Carley O'Keefe

At one point or another, just about everyone's made that New Year's resolution to drop a few pounds, others have vowed that they'd quit smoking. Sadly--a good number of folks won't stick to that resolution.

"Two years ago I was trying to eat the right foods, but the temptation does you in," said Alyssa Masters ofMarion.

This year, Alyssa plans to stick to her new year's resolution: to lose weight and gain muscle. She’s one of 15 folks who've already become members at the Marion Gold’s Gym on its first day open of the New Year. Employees say on average the gym gains three or four new members a day, but in January it’s different.

"January's the busy season. You find after that, it tapers off. People kind of lose the fight you might say," said Gold's Gym owner John Etherton.

Most folks give up on their New Year's resolution because they expect to achieve their--often unrealistic-- goals within a few weeks.

"it's part of your lifestyle, it's not something you do in January and quit. You make a goal, and if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, that's a long-term goal, first we need to lose two pounds to lose 20," Etherton said.

Pharmacist Tom Miller, owner of Medicap Pharmacy in Marion says he hears from a lot of folks around this time of year who've made a resolution to kick the habit.

"That's always the biggest new year's resolution. I'm going to quit smoking... the patches the gum, the inhalers, they're all good, but you've got to learn a different lifestyle," said Miller.

In order to do so, Miller says smokers also need to make realistic goals; for instance, cutting back slowly. "Take one cigarette out of a new pack, throw it away. Now you'll smoke 19 cigarettes a day for a week. Next week, take two out and you'll smoke 18 a day. Your body gets used to that,” said Miller.

Most importantly, Miller says be patient. Usually New Year's resolutions involve changing something about yourself that you can't change overnight. "You've got to learn to change the habit," miller said.

Experts say don't be afraid to ask for help with your new year's resolution. If your resolution is to lose weight, talk to a personal trainer. If you've made a goal to quit smoking, look into smoking cessation programs through your local hospital. The more support you have, the easier it will be to reach your goal.