New Year, Same You


And so it begins again. When the clock strikes twelve on New Years Eve, a new year begins – and so does the effort to start some resolutions.

Now that the holidays are over and reality has set in, are you keeping up with your resolutions? Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t. Resolutions have a high failure rate, so why do we feel obligated to change?

Gym Bandwagon

You first begin with a gym membership and well thought-out exercise plan in the hopes of losing “X” amount of pounds. Not even the crowds could keep you away from achieving your goal, right?

Maria Wolfel, a junior and Dietetics major here at Penn State, is a part of Penn State’s strength and conditioning staff and can vouch for the overpopulation in the gyms at this time of year, but she knows it doesn’t last.

“After three to four weeks the gym goes back to normal capacity because people try to go really hard when really they should take it easy and build up to a change because then they are more likely to keep to a routine,” says Wolfel.

Going on a “diet”

Diets never work. They fail because when you restrict yourself and cut out the unhealthy foods you love, you crave them more than ever before. This leads to a breakdown, then a binge, and before you know it, your “slip up” has caused you to give up.

Quitting a habit

Whether it’s smoking, excessive drinking, or even biting your nails, it takes more than a few days to break a habit. Like dieting, you feel deprived because you aren’t used to life without the habit. If you give in, you feel defeated just as a dieter would.

If these resolutions seem familiar, maybe it’s time to stop making them. After all, they are supposed to empower you, not discourage you!

Making realistic goals – not binding “resolutions” – will turn out to be more effective in the long run. You won’t feel defeated when you miss a day at the gym or overindulge at the Waffle Shop on Saturday morning (because let’s face it, who can pass up waffles?).

If you want to workout more, ease your way into your workout. Wolfel and the rest of the PSU strength and conditioning staff are there to make sure everyone’s workout is safe and effective. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If you want to eat healthier, limit unhealthy foods but keep them in your diet for special occasions. As far as habits, they did not develop overnight, so breaking them won’t happen overnight either. Be forgiving and don’t give up.

With your new goals set, keep in mind you are improving yourself, not changing. If you’re feeling extra daring, try setting goals for yourself that aren’t health or fitness related. Rekindle your old passion for things you miss, such as reading a great book or picking up your guitar after all these years.

Each day is a new day, whether it’s January 1 or mid-July. Let’s end the saying “New Year, New Me!” once and for all.

Because there is nothing wrong with the way you are today, the way you were yesterday, and the way you’ll be when the clock strikes twelve next New Year’s Eve.


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