Well, it is over. December. That month of parties, cookies, rich foods and liquid calories. January, the month that invented cabin fever, has shown up with its hangover, extra pounds and Christmas bills.
And to make matters worse, some joker came up with the idea of New Year’s Resolutions so we can atone for the excesses of last year. How is that going for you so far?
For about the tenth year in a row, I went for the same old resolution: losing weight and getting in shape. Bakeries and ice cream parlors must be shaking in their shoes. I want to look like my friend, who lost more than 50 pounds last year by giving up foods with starches and sugar. Unfortunately, that is just about everything I like.
Although round is a shape, it is not the shape I crave. I want my 35-year-old body back. I was in shape after having three kids. I wasn’t as thin as I was on my wedding day, but I am not asking for miracles.
Now, I don’t know if these statistics, compiled by business consultant Steve Shapiro, are accurate, but they are interesting, and they raise some questions:
–Forty-five percent of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions. (Does the other 55 percent live perfect lives, or have they given up on changing their habits?)
- Only 8 percent are successful in achieving their resolutions every year. (Do they cheat and set easy resolutions like bathing daily? Or are they the people who were all ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving? Either way, I don’t think I have much in common with them. Well, I do bathe daily.)
-Twenty-four percent never achieve their resolutions. (If you see these people on the road, pull over. They are probably on the brink of road rage.)
I lost about 20 percent of what I wanted to lose last year. I figure I may achieve my goal in another five years.
But guess what? If you are still intent on setting a resolution, the United States government is willing to help. Seriously. There’s a federal website where I can pick from a list of 12 favorite resolutions and get free advice in helping me achieve my goal.
My personal favorite was Take A Trip. I didn’t know you could choose fun things as resolutions. Does this explain that 8 percent who always achieve their resolutions?
I was intrigued, so I clicked on the link, which led to a list of new choices. I clicked the first one: Air Travel. Leave it to the government to take all the fun out of a vacation! The next menu offers topics like Air Travel Problems and Complaints; Security Checkpoint Wait Times; and Airline On-Time Statistics.
What was I thinking, asking the government for help planning a vacation? It probably would over-promise, under-deliver and come in over-budget. I closed that window fast!
And if you want to lose weight, every former fat celebrity stands ready to help. Marie Osmond looks great, except she sure has gained a lot of weight in her lips. Is that a side effect of the diet plan she is plugging? Jennifer Hudson does a schizophrenic duet with her former (fat) self. I wonder if people wonder why that svelte beauty is singing with that fat woman in a ’70′s Afro? And I really wonder how much plastic surgery was involved for both women.
Shapiro says that the happier you are, the less likely you are to set resolutions. In fact, that 8 percent who set resolutions and achieve them are no happier than the rest of us. So tell me again. Why are we setting resolutions?
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Read back to see what other mom bloggers are planning for the new year. Heidi Woodard is setting goals so you all can hold her accountable. But Cat Koehler has decided 2012 is her year of being good enough.
Kathy Koch Joyce is mom to three grown-up children. Read her Tuesdays at momaha.com