Many already battling to keep their New Year's resolutions
January 10, 2007
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Pack on five pounds. Keep smoking. Rack up more debt. Stay in front of the boob tube. At least these New Year’s resolutions would be easier to keep.
Like many Americans, those at Yokosuka Naval Base rang in the year with a fresh set of good intentions. All started strong, but several are fading fast.
Some have lapsed completely.
“My resolution was to drop a few pounds,” said a Blue Ridge sailor who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s over — I just had lunch at Sbarro's.”
Spouse Naoko Cato’s resolution also has fallen by the wayside.
“Mine was to stop picking on my husband,” she said. “It’s too late.”
They are not alone.
According to the “Auld Lang Syne” study in the 2002 Journal of Clinical Psychology, about half of all American adults make New Year’s resolutions — with weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking and better money management topping the list.
By the end of week one, a full quarter of resolvers have dropped out, the study indicated. By week two, only 70 percent are still sticking with it. After a month, 64 percent are left, and after six months, fewer than half have stayed with the program.
Yokosuka Commissary Director Totolua Ripley Jr. sees it in the aisles every year.
In January, products with the magic words “diet” and “light” fly off the shelves, he said. By February, things start tapering off to normal, he said.
“It happens every year,” Ripley said. “The intentions are to lose weight. But it’s easy to fall off a diet.”
Of course, some people have found a surefire way to avoid breaking their New Year’s resolution: They resolve not to make any.
Opposing New Year’s resolutions is a matter of principle for U.S. Navy Airman Apprentice Andrew Cardwell.
“If you have to wait for the beginning of the year to do something, then you’re probably not going to follow through. If you want to change, change now,” Cardwell said. “Don’t wait to lose weight … that’s pointless.”
Lt. Theo Goda also didn’t make a resolution, but for a different reason — distraction.
“I didn’t even think about it this year,” Goda said. “It’s my first New Year’s in Japan so I did the traditional Japanese celebration.”
But there is no bad time for a good intention, he said.
“There’s still time to make one,” Goda said. “It’s not too late.”
Resolution procrastinators also can take the lunar New Year option: Make resolutions with the Chinese during the first full moon between Jan. 19 and Feb. 21.
Or, one could stack the odds like Nile C. Kinnick High School student Amanda Carver did by making two resolutions this year.
That way, if she fails at one, there’s another to fall back on.
“I usually make resolutions every year,” Carver said. “This year, I resolved to eat healthier and manage my time better. The time resolution is going a lot better than the eating.”