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NEWS | Jan. 7, 2015

Stay committed in 2015

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Say goodbye to 2014 and welcome to a new beginning. Well, at least for a little while.

I bet you have a New Year's resolution and I bet it has been the same ... year after year after year.

If your resolution, like many people, is to lose weight, more than likely your resolution will result in two or three trips to the gym. Then February will come and the only time you'll see the gym is as you drive by on the way to work. Before you know it, you're 20 pounds heavier and now it's 2016, and your resolution will be to lose even more weight.

This happens because most people are trying to stay true to their resolutions by motivation alone. For some reason, adding a digit to the calendar date gives people a sense of motivation to become a better person and take on new challenges.

Motivation is the key to starting any new endeavor in your life. When you first learned to ride a bike you probably fell a few times, but you were motivated to get back on and try again. Eventually, you succeeded.

But reaching long-term goals with motivation alone is impossible and most New Year's resolutions come in the form of long term goals., The key to achieving a long term goal is commitment.

Staying committed to achieving your goal is more important than motivation, because you will lose motivation. Motivation wanes over time, but staying committed will last as long as you want.

It's 5:00 a.m. and your alarm clock says it's time to go for that morning run. Motivation will only last about three or four times of not hitting the snooze button, but if you are committed to your goal, you have a greater chance of getting up and getting out the door.  

So, how do you stay committed to your New Year's resolutions? What works for me might not work for you, because the level of commitment varies from person to person.

I made a New Year's resolution many years ago to lose weight. I had that same resolution the following year ... and then again the year after that. I finally came to the conclusion that it's hard to lose weight and it's hard to stay committed. I realized when something is hard, it becomes easier when you are not doing it by yourself.

Find a partner to share your resolutions. Make a resolution together. It is easier to stay committed to your goals when you have another person facing the same struggles.

Research the topic of what you are trying to accomplish with your resolutions. If you are trying to lose weight, look up healthy recipes online. Look up new workouts. Talk to people who are engaged in physical activity. If you stay interested in your resolution, it's easier to stay committed.

Making supplemental goals to the resolution you are trying to achieve can also help you stay committed. A supplemental goal to losing weight can be watching less T.V., learning to cook healthier and spending more time outdoors.

Losing weight is a popular New Year's resolution, but no matter what resolution you have for 2015, staying committed to your goal will always last longer than relying on motivation alone. And, it is NEVER too late to resolve to improve yourself.

Happy New Year's ... stay committed and resolved.