Broken Resolutions – Get Back on Track for a Healthy Summer!


New Year's ResolutionHave you ever made a resolution to improve your health or to end a bad habit? Chances are you have, and I would bet you may have broken some of your resolutions as well. If you are like me, you have the best intentions to follow through, but somehow get off-track somewhere in the spring. I did a little research, and it turns out that the top ten resolutions are also the most frequently broken ones. What does that say about us? Do we set impossible goals? Honestly, I think most of the resolutions are attainable if we simply incorporate some easy steps to reach them.

Start Exercising/Dieting

This resolution is always on the list of top promises to ourselves. We all typically eat way more than usual during the winter because of the holidays, and most of us also indulge in too many sweets. A little weight gain should be anticipated, so I am perplexed that people do not plan for this in advance. Instead of making this something you incorporate into your lifestyle only during the first month or two of each year, why not begin over the summer or at least by the start of the fall semester? You should start exercising and eating right whenever you feel the need to shed a few pounds! Exchange foods with high sugar content and empty calories for healthier options. Stay in shape by joining an intramural sports team or start walking more. When special occasions arrive, look for healthier versions of your favorite treats. If you find yourself already on the over-indulgence side, don’t wait for next year to start exercising again – do it now! Start slowly and set small goals. If you make extreme changes and put impossible limits on yourself, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Reduce Debt

This goal is probably at the top of every college student’s list. Statistics released last year anticipate that the average debt for graduating college students will be over $25,000 in 2012. That’s a pretty hefty amount to tackle as you begin your career. Avoid falling into debt traps, such as credit cards and high-interest loans by researching your options early. Review your finances now and make an effort to start working toward a debt-free graduation. Look for ways to save money (coupons, student deals, etc) and get in the habit of applying for scholarships on a regular basis. If you set a budget now and stick with it, you’ll be in much better financial shape over the years and by the time you graduate.

End Bad Habits

Are you a smoker or a heavy drinker? This category is probably on your resolution list, too. The majority of people who fail to achieve this resolution do so because they quit cold turkey or they have no support system in place. If you truly are determined to make this one stick, you must seek help; this is no time to pull a Charlie Sheen. Check with your student health center on campus for programs available at school or in your community. Also, look into support groups that may meet on campus or find a peer to join you in your commitment to stop smoking or drinking. Start slowly and look for ways to divert your cravings. Exercise can be a great way to help avoid the craving for cigarettes or alcohol; it will also help you to achieve another resolution – getting fit!

For some reason, we all use the start of a new year as a time to wipe the slate clean and make resolutions to be better. The truth is we should not wait for the new year to take a closer look at ourselves and decide to make changes; we should periodically think about self-improvement and continually work on our health and overall sense of well-being. Avoid the annual ritual of making a resolution only in January and, instead, make a life resolution. Start this summer on your goals to creating a better you; you’ll feel less pressure and have a better shot at success. Good luck!

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