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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

New year, new you

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This year, it seems, everyone is assuming a resolution centered around weight loss and health gain.

"Good Morning America" has begun "Jumpstart Your January," a series that introduces a new simple exercise move each day, as well as features stories of people who have "dropped an Olsen twin."

"People Magazine" released their "Half My Size" issue this week, one of the more popular issues of the year. One woman has successfully lost over 100 lbs by meticulously following the Atkins diet for the past 12 years.

There was even a 20/20 special Friday night about women who lose half of their former body weight.

I get really excited about stories like this, about overcoming odds to be a better person. Call me a sap, I don't care.

Right at the beginning of the year seems to be the time that people realize they aren't the person they want to be. They then set out to change that, only to roll over a month later back into their habits and they wonder why it didn't work out.

A hint: Habits take a month of consistent avoidance to break. And, they're only broken when another habit takes its place.

This is why many addicts continue to smoke or drink exorbitant amounts of coffee while they work to break their addiction. Coffee and nicotine are more acceptable, and often less detrimental, habits than whatever their former vice was.

So, if you're trying to give up soda, pick a different drink to get hooked on. I prefer sparkling water with a bit of fruit juice. Want to stop watching so much television? Pick a different activity to enjoy.

When there's something else to switch your attention and willpower to, the habit becomes much easier to set aside. And, before you realize it, a month will have passed by and you'll realize that your New Year's resolution has now become a habit of its own, one that will do much more to benefit your lifestyle.

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Kate Padilla