The Rise and Fall of the New Year's Resolution

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January the 1st, 2017. It's that time again where we promise ourselves that THIS year we will rise to do something healthy, empowering or life-changing. The first day of a new year is a perfect time for starting something new, right? The thing is, about 30 days from now is usually where we fall and abandon our grandiose resolution.

What happened? Did you make a New Year's suggestion instead of a vow? You've heard that old saying by W.C. Fields: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."

But we don't quit, do we? We have hope. Hope that THIS year will be different. THIS year we're going to follow through. THIS year, however, just repeats itself over and over again.

Here's another quote - can you guess who wrote this one?

"Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill."

Believe it or not, the same man who said we should quit if we don't succeed, W.C. Fields! Confused, or brilliant?

What's your attitude when you set your New Year's resolution? You're excited and eager to succeed! What happens to your attitude when you experience your first failure toward that goal? Do you quit? Do you get back up and keep going? Do you feel like a failure or think it's not worth it, or you can't do it?

If I stopped every time I failed at something, I would not have become the successful failure I am today. Often, success comes from failure.

In December of 2007, three of my friends and I were sitting at the bar for happy hour at our neighborhood Mexican cantina, as we often did. Our financial contribution to the alcohol inventory was apparently so significant that the manager begged us not to do what we were about to do. We challenged each other that on Jan. 1 we were all going to quit drinking for 30 days.

Two days went by, and we lost the first one. Three weeks approached, and there went the second one. Thirty days later, there was myself and one other still going strong. About eight weeks later, we lost the third one. Jan. 1, 2017 will be the date that I haven't had a drink since Jan. 1, 2008. It was not an easy promise I made to myself and, in the daily process for the first 10 months, I swore I would have a drink that day! But I always said to myself, tomorrow. If I still feel the same way tomorrow, I will have a drink. Thank goodness today has a tomorrow. My advice to you is that if you can make it for 30 days, you've gotten over the most difficult hump. After that, it's all attitude. Besides, if you quit now, you have to start counting all over again! Who has time for that? It's YOUR move!

Corley Roberts, ACSM-HFS, MHA, CPHQ, is an Exercise Physiologist, published author, public speaker, health care professional and founder and CEO of MyFitScript. MyFitScript has been featured on Medscape Inc., CBS Healthwatch, Business and Health Magazine and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Visit for exercise education and programs, or contact Corley at

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Corley Roberts
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