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Renewing New Year’s resolutions in 7 days

Emily Kreiberg fights temptation as she tries to stick to her New Year's resolutions. James MacKenzie photo

If you’ve already blown your New Year’s resolutions, it isn’t too late to restart.
Join Weal news editor Emily Kreiberg as she sets about finding ways to bring her wayward resolutions back on track in seven short days.
Monday, Jan 10: Exercise
Today I resolved to join the masses flocking to the treadmill. I put on my gym clothes, laced up my Nikes, and headed out to Petland to buy guinea pig food. Does it count as a workout because I was wearing my workout clothes?
“Research shows that almost half of those who begin a new exercise program will quit within six months,” says Calgary fitness consultant Erin Ashbacher. “(But) studies also show that the best motivator to exercise is enjoying the activity. Try new classes, or attend a type of class that you enjoy.”
Tuesday, Jan 11: Eat healthily
In an effort to eat a better dinner today, I loaded so many kiwis, tomatoes, pecans, cucumbers, and peppers into my spinach I couldn’t even tell it was good for me! Too bad my friend Tina came over with french fries.
Certified life coach and psychologist Chris Hammer says to succeed with a goal like this, you need to set up your environment for success. “If you’re trying to eat healthier, get rid of the chips in the cupboard,” he says. “And choose people you can be accountable to so that they can help you out.” Thanks a lot, Tina!
Wednesday, Jan 12: Help a stranger
Today I resolved to pay it forward. As I was driving on Memorial, the Trans Am ahead of me spun out and got stuck in a snow bank. I pulled over, and had the guy back on the road with a few pushes. It was over in about three minutes, but I felt great for the rest of the day.
“All the great spiritual traditions emphasize the importance of giving,” says Hammer. “The real challenge here is whether or not we can give selflessly without having to tell anyone about it after.” Oops.
Thursday, Jan 13:  Tackle my  paper pile
I’m pretty sure everyone has a pile of receipts, bills and/or taxes they don’t ever want to touch. When I conquered mine, I found an un-submitted dental claim from December 2009. It dawned on me if I had tackled the paper pile sooner, I would’ve scored $278 for Christmas money.
“A cluttered life is a cluttered mind,” says Hammer. “The more clutter you have in your life, the more stress. Make it a priority to filter things as they come in, and don’t let things pile up.”
Friday, Jan 14: Decrease my drinking
This goal would’ve been so much more attainable if I had set it up on a weekday, instead of a Friday night when 50 friends and I had arrived at Panorama for a weekend of snowboarding. Needless to say, I failed.
Psychologist Patti Hannigan says it’s best to know your motivators, understand your vulnerabilities and make your goals attainable. “Make a goal like I’m only going to have X amount of drinks in X amount of hours, so your goal is achievable and realistic,” Hannigan says.
Saturday, Jan 15: Do something that scares me
I resolved to hit my first jump as a novice snowboarder. After three runs to get my nerve up, I carved my way into a jump and actually got air. It was terrifying, but incredible.
Hammer says we grow most when we’re uncomfortable. “We have to keep pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones to be the best we can be.”
Sunday, Jan 16: Stop procrastinating
It’s 4 a.m., and this article’s due in five hours. I’ve had all week to do it, but I had a whole season of Lost to watch.
Regarding advice on procrastination, Hammer says, “I’ll get back to you on that one. Tomorrow…”

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