WELLNESS & WELL-BEING A Chance to Begin Anew NEW YEAR PROVIDES HOPE By Vi c k i Fr e n c h B e n n i n g t o n T he party’s over. OK. So New Year’s Day rolls around, and after a night of fireworks, indulgence and fun, it’s time to set a few resolutions to kick the year off right. Making a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or exercise are traditions almost as old as the New Year itself. But they are good goals. And one of these years, they are going to stick. Jan. 1 gives us all a chance to start anew, whether we are looking at weight loss, exercise, being kinder to others, finding a new job, going back to school, or making better grades. It’s a time to start fresh. Even if last year’s resolutions went by the wayside, this year could be different. Establish the right mindset no matter what you try to accomplish. How many actually stick? Statistics show that many resolutions bite the dust by mid-January. But as the saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” So why do we want to change ourselves anyway? Could it be that we all feel that there is a better self lurking somewhere out there? If so, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Setting goals of any kind can make us work harder and achieve more success – professionally and personally. New Year’s Day just provides that starting point. Establishing a motivator – like an exercise partner or someone to eat healthier meals with, or working with a new study friend – can often be the key to success. Not wanting to disappoint the other person, or inspiring each other to stick with goals can often produce a higher success rate. If joining a health club will help motivate you to work out, by all means, join. If going for a walk with your spouse or friend will get you up and moving, then go for it. Maybe time on the treadmill while still watching your favorite TV shows will become a long-lasting habit. Maybe you like to roller skate with your children, or take the stairs instead of the elevator, the main thing is to find something attainable. Don’t expect too much of yourself, but don’t let yourself off the hook too easily. Plan things ahead of time. Write down goals and set milestones. Just don’t give up. Set short-term goals to help measure progress along the way and give you a feeling of accomplishment. Set long-term goals to keep you focused on the future, giving you something to anticipate. Don’t try to do everything in one year or at least not in one month. If your first resolution goes well, add something else later. Trying to make too many changes at once can bring failure in all of them. Don’t stop smoking and go on a diet at the same time – too much 90 GAZELLE STL deprivation. Pick the one that will mean the most to you, and once it’s under control, move on to the next. Don’t start spending more time with everyone you know at once – it takes too much time. Pick one person and begin adjusting your schedule accordingly. Don’t overload yourself with too many new classes or programs that you won’t have time to complete successfully. Try one or two new things at a time. Just as the New Year keeps rolling around, the inclination for people to start anew will follow. The traditional song for New Year’s Eve is “Auld Lang Syne,” meaning roughly, “times gone by,” the culmination of New Year’s Eve – looking back at the old with a look toward the new. Few people get through the song using exactly the right words, but according to the website of Robert Burns, an 18th century Scottish poet credited with its writing, the correct wording is: Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne! For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne. We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne.