New Year Resolutions: Why Bother?

What could be more expected than a call from a local TV station today asking for my take on New Year resolutions? What should people do who want to lose weight and be more healthy?

Well, readers of this blog would already predict my answer: do not resolve to do anything that you do not enjoy and are unlikely to stick with.

There is absolutely no evidence that two weeks of avoiding fast food or four weeks of daily exercise will do you any good in the long run – except perhaps increase your experience of just “failing” again when you fall back into your old lifestyle.

People are too smart to stick with doing things they don’t enjoy, especially if it takes an effort to do so. This is especially true if the rewards are distant, uncertain and vague.

But even experiencing the benefits is no guarantee for adherence. How many people do you know who have lost weight, felt fantastic – so full of energy – just great, only to gain the weight back?

So here’s my two bits on New Year resolutions: if it’s not sustainable don’t bother.

Drastic and radical changes are rarely sustainable – remember: the benefits of even miniscule daily bouts of exercise are incremental – the health benefits of running a marathon once in a lifetime are irrelevant!

Happy 2008!