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12 Common (and Commonly Broken) New Year’s Resolutions


By Scott LaFee   |   December 19, 2016

You know you made them, even if you never did commit them to paper. New Year’s resolutions are a blight of passage. A new year means a new set of occasionally earnest attempts. Mostly, we fall short, but the glory is in the trying — and there’s always next year.

  1. Lose weight/exercise. Everybody’s #1 goal, especially after adding a few holiday pounds. Unfortunately, it’s also the resolution most quickly broken. Researchers say 60 percent of gym memberships signed in January never get used and most of the rest are ignored by mid-February.
  2. Quit smoking. Only an estimated 15 percent of people who try to quit remain cigarette-free after six months.
  3. Learn something new. Learning French is harder than it sounds and becoming a gourmet cook requires actually knowing your way around a kitchen. On the plus side, discovering these realities is like learning something new.
  4. Eat healthier. Here’s a simple tip: Eat more food with one name and one ingredient, i.e. a tomato is always a tomato. Cut back on foods that come wrapped. 
  5. Get out of debt/save money. Related to #4: Fresh food is more expensive, but it costs less than a hospital bill.
  6. Spend more time with family. Friends too.
  7. Watch less TV, spend less time on Facebook. Doing either with family or friends doesn’t make it OK. Go outside. See actual people.
  8. Travel. Take your family. Go with friends.
  9. Be less stressed. OK, traveling with the kids might not be the best way to reduce stress, which plays a huge role in many medical conditions and chronic diseases. There are other options: exercise, yoga, meditation, taking a moment to chill each day.
  10. Get more sleep. You probably need it. The Centers for Disease Control says one in three adults don’t get enough. That’s means at least seven hours each night if you’re between ages 18 and 60.
  11. Volunteer. Now get out of bed and go do something useful. Helping others helps you too. Need a start? Try UC San Diego Volunteer Services, who assist in patient care, education and research.
  12. Drink less. Sure, a lot of research suggests alcohol consumption may confer distinct health benefits in moderation. That last word is key. Stay minimal, my friends.