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December 2009
The Sense and Sensibility of Resolutions
Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli
Every New Year brings with it the promise of things to come and things to be left behind. While almost everyone has some resolutions to make, or at least something that they want to change in their lives, most fail to keep their resolutions after just a few weeks.

Let's take a look at some of the more popular resolutions. People plan to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less alcohol, shop more wisely, be kinder,and just aim at being better and more responsible persons overall. But the devil is in the details of how we go about keeping up with our resolutions.
Perhaps it would work if we aim to be more realistic in our approach. It wouldn't work if we plan to shed 10 kilos in two months, for instance, because that's most probably the weight we've spent six years in gaining. Shouldn't we give it a shot for six months at least? But if you think, exercise is a wonderful resolution, even if you don't end up losing all the weight you wanted. It improves your mood, decreases stress, helps with cholesterol and glucose management, increases stamina, muscle tone, and does decrease excessive weight eventually, though if you were to combine it with diet management, the results would be faster.

So what if the scale doesn't plummet as much as anticipated? You find that your clothes fit better, and you do feel better. So why not keep up with it and desist the urge to quit after just the first flush of enthusiasm? After all, good habits need time to be built into practice. The important thing is to be realistic in taking small steps that lead to big gains. It's just like swimming; you need to develop the skill, and give yourself enough time for practice before you dive into the deep end and start swimming like a pro.

So, don't set yourself up for failure with your resolutions this year. Keep them simple and do-able. Make an easy plan. Revise it - and revise your expectations - if need be. The important thing is to be consistent in the pursuit of your goal, and not limit yourself by focusing on the time taken to achieve it.

Most importantly, don't get stressed out in fulfilling your resolutions; they are meant to de-stress you and make life more enjoyable. Live life and enjoy it – but responsibly and sensibly. Both sense and sensibility matter equally in this case. 

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