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Resolutions happen every day

Sheri Kotzum

New year, new me. If I got paid a dollar for every time I’ve heard that this week, I would have enough to make a year’s worth of my student loan payments. What is it about the beginning of a new year that makes people decide to suddenly change habits they’ve had for the past year or more?

I can understand to an extent. It’s like a fresh start. So much can happen in a single year and a lot of us would like nothing better than to wipe the slate clean. We make resolutions to eat better, lose weight, save money and be happier but after a few weeks, those promises are forgotten and the majority of us seem to revert back to old habits. Changing yourself is hard, even when it’s for the better.

But you don’t have to wait until Jan. 1 to go to the gym, you can do that any day. But you can’t expect instant results. If you want to lose weight, you will have to be consistent with your diet and workouts for a few months, before you start to see big results. If you want to quit smoking, you’ll still battle the desire for a cigarette for months or years to come. If you want to eat healthier, you will constantly have to make conscious decisions when it comes to food and not give in to the cravings. Why does it take a new year for people to decide to make positive changes in their lives?

Because we’re all procrastinators, that’s why, especially when it’s something that will be difficult and uncomfortable for us to do. Every December, I decide that I’m going to start working out again, but it can wait until after the holidays. Before I know it, multiple holidays, including the Fourth of July, have passed and I hadn’t stayed consistent.

Here’s the thing though. People wait for a new year because it’s a fresh start but every day is considered fresh start isn’t it? I was once told “It’s just a day. There will be a new one tomorrow.” That helped put things in perspective for me. Yeah, I might have let myself down for a while but that doesn’t mean I have to give up and wait for next year. I can resolve to do better tomorrow. You can change whenever you want.

It doesn’t take changing out your calendar to decide to be kinder or more patient. Like Nike says, just do it.

 Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at skotzum@thedestinlog.com or 315-4353.