Our Opinion: Transform resolutions into reality

With a new year rapidly approaching and pressure to make resolutions steadily building, may we offer a suggestion — relax.

Stripped of all its hype, New Year’s Day simply is another day.

As columnist Jay Ambrose observes in his column elsewhere on this page, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

An adaptation of that axiom might read: “Every day is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Each day presents new opportunities and new possibilities.

The fallacy of New Year’s resolutions is the implication that people must await a designated day to seize opportunities or entertain possibilities.

And the often unrealistic expectation of New Year’s resolutions is a one-day commitment can yield year-long behavior.

The creators of many 12-step programs advance a simple and practical suggestion, summed up in yet another adage: “One day at a time.”

For example, if you’ve resolved to lose weight, think about eating less and exercising more today, rather than dieting for a year.

Huge commitments increase the likelihood of failure, which heightens the temptation to give up.

But approaching the same commitment through a series of smaller steps is more likely to result in successes that multiply, inspiring confidence and generating motivation and momentum.

We wish our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011 — a year when a daily commitment transforms resolutions into reality.

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