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To Make or Not to Make... New Year Resolutions

A decision must be made every Dec. 31 about making (or not making) resolutions.

New Year's Eve has always been my favorite holiday. I don't usually do anything very special for it. I just love knowing that I get a new chance to do things right. (Yes, I know that I don't need to wait for Jan. 1 to make changes.) I love the romance and sentimentality of the holiday. I love counting down to midnight and realizing that another year has come and gone. I am usually overwhelmed by how quickly time can pass.

This holiday also brings with it the challenge of making changes. No, changing your life is not a mandatory action on Jan. 1. But for many people, it is the time they make resolutions to do "better." This might mean eating healthier, exercising more, quitting smoking or spending more time with family. It could also be to find a new job, a new home or to give more to your community.

Resolutions are based on great intentions. Unfortunately, human nature makes keeping those resolutions nearly impossible. Dieting makes us want to eat unhealthy things more. Exercising is rarely a "top priority" for the busy, working parents in our world. Smoking is an awful addiction that does not like to let us go. All those changes are easily made and easily forgotten.

I read somewhere that it takes six weeks to create a new habit. This means that if you want to build exercise into your routine, you need to get past the six-week mark. If you want to add vegetables to your diet, you need to keep at it for longer than a few weeks.

So is it worth it to make resolutions? That's up to you, but I don't. I decided I was tired of failing. Instead, I try to simply live better. I make small changes to my diet (and easily forgive myself when I slip). When grocery shopping, I don't buy those foods that I know will become my late-night snacks. Instead, I keep healthier choices in stock for myself and my family.

And when I do decide to make a big change, no matter what time of year it might be, I enlist support. I join groups that are losing weight. Or I tell my goals to my friends so they will continuously ask about my progress. I even challenge my daughters to make efforts with me. Having company in my battle makes it so much easier.

So will you make any resolutions this year? Tell us what they are, or why you don't!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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