January 8, 2020

New Year's Resolutions - Information

By Barry Rudesill
It seems like every year, in January, I write something about New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because it’s a time when people decide to “change”. This year, I want to continue that tradition. As I was researching this, it turns out that most of these involve things like weight loss / exercise (45%), stopping smoking and/or drinking (31%), handling money better (53%), spending more time with family/friends (13%), etc. All good things, right?
 
Well, according to one source, here’s how long these resolutions last:
  • 25% will have quit within the first week.
  • 36% will have quit within the first month.
  • 54% will have quit within the first six months.
So, why does this keep happening? If over half of people who make a New Year’s resolution fail to keep them, why do people keep making them in the first place? Well, let’s go back and take a look at two of the most common resolutions:
 
Weight Loss / Exercise
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity rates have skyrocketed in recent years, with over 1/3 of Americans being considered obese / overweight. Obesity can cause serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer. (Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-and-weight-loss)
 
Even more important is how easy it is to make healthy changes! You can join a gym; or, if you prefer, get a high-energy Bluetick Coonhound like we did and let her take you for a walk a few times each day. Don’t want to leave home? Did you know that you can find health videos ranging from cooking to yoga on YouTube? Finally, there are some great diet plans that you can try, including the Keto cookbooks by Maria Emmerich at https://mariamindbodyhealth.com/. (We worked with her for a couple of years and love her food!)
 
Now how many of you are running out to change? None of you? Why not? Didn’t throwing a bunch of facts at you convince you of the need to change? How about the suggestions? No? How about the personal recommendation? (We did work with Maria for years and DO love her cookbooks!) Why isn’t that enough to make you want to immediately “get in shape”?
 
Because it’s just information…
 
Smoking / Drinking
According to the CDC smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, is responsible for 480,000 deaths each year – this is nearly 1-in-5 deaths! – and is responsible for 90% of the lung cancer deaths and 80% of the COPD deaths! (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco)
 
Add to that, excessive use of alcohol leads to increased risk of injuries, violence, liver disease, and cancer. In fact, according to the CDC, there is one person killed in an alcohol-related accident every 50 minutes in the United States! (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol)
 
Tobacco cessation programs are responsible for over 90% of people successfully quitting and are now widely available; and over 85% of people were able to end alcohol addiction with treatment.
 
Now, how many of you just threw out that pack of cigarettes or dumped out the alcohol? Why not?
 
Because this is just information...
 
And as we say at The Trek, “Information is not enough to change...anything.” We get information all day long, thousands of facts and figures flooding our brains from television, movies, music, radio, books, magazines, and more! But, we don’t pay attention to Information unless we have some connection to it. Want some proof?
 
In 2019: Who won the Super Bowl last year? Who was the top pitcher in the AL? Who won American Idol? Which recording artist had the most tour stops? Where did the New Horizons space probe explore? What type of computer did IBM unveil? A new medication was found to be 90% effective in treating which “incurable” disease?
 
How many of you could answer a couple of these? Could you do all of them? Why not? Because even though you may have HEARD the answers – received the Information – it didn’t matter to you, and so you don’t remember it. Unless the Information is in your area of interest or connects to something you already know, it just passes by.
 
So, how do we make significant, long-lasting change? We’ll talk about that starting next week.
 
We hope you enjoy your journey!

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