Redeeming your New Year's resolutions

Following these "Four S's" will guarantee New Year's success.

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Gym rats across campus are grieving over their lost Rec Center space, thanks to the recent influx of students suffering from a common psychological disease: New Year’s resolutions. Fair-weather fitness lovers are a new infestation, worse than Kansas State fans at MU’ s home sporting events. But have no fear, Situations of MU; common campus wisdom has it that the Rec Center will be back to its regular numbers within a few weeks, thanks to the inevitable failure of 90 percent of all fitness-related resolutions.

However, just because most students end up throwing in the towel on their Rec Center resolutions, that doesn’ t mean you have to kiss all of your New Year’s ambitions goodbye. Even if you haven’ t done so hot through January, there’ s no reason you can’ t finish off 2011 with a strong 11 months. So without further ado, here’ s what I’m calling the Four S’s of Success for News Year’s resolutions, thanks to my creative ability to find four “s” words while in the shower this morning.

Select Those bold enough to actually make New Year’s resolutions sometimes end up overwhelming themselves by drawing out three, four or five different ones. Divide and conquer is the name of the game here. If your resolutions are taking up too much time, pick one and stick to it. You’ ll feel a lot better sticking to a workout plan and holding off on joining a new club, or vice versa, than trying and failing at both.

Specify Another common pitfall many New Year junkies face is what I’ m again creatively dubbing the “more” complex. Everyone knows that resolving to work out “more” or spend “more” time doing something means, precisely, nothing, or at least nothing that is specific enough to commit to. The same thing applies to words like “healthier,” when making diet resolutions. Instead of “working out more,” or “eating healthier,” use specifics, like “I’m going to work out three times a week,” or, “I’ m going to stop eating cookies.” Using tangible goals makes measuring progress possible, which serves as a motivator for a lot of people.

Schedule Once you’ ve picked your resolution of choice, it’s time to pull up iCal, your Taylor Swift wall calendar (or Justin Bieber, for the ladies out there) and pick a time.

You might normally spend that three hour gap in your schedule surfing the Internet, but Facebook doesn’ t care whether you spend that improving yourself or liking your roommate's status that you watched him update four seconds ago. If you treat your resolution like a class or other commitment, you should have an easier time dedicating time to it.

Stay Positive Positive didn’t start with an 's,' but “stay positive” won out over “succeed,” which is inevitable after following the patented "Four S" approach. Sure, January is over and you might not be where you wanted to be on your resolutions. But the transitional whirlwind into second semester is about over, so there’ s no reason you can’t salvage your resolutions with an 11 month redemption. Your hot bod from working out for 11 months will make you forget all about your lackluster start in January.

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