By MIKE HUGHES
RESOLUTION IS the name. Change is the goal. And you can accomplish both if you can answer one simple little question correctly.
And folks, that question is this: Are you ready?
Are you ready to make a change? Are you ready to make a choice? Are you ready to commit to that choice, make a plan and see it through to completion?
If you're answer is yes - and if you intend on sticking to your New Year's Resolution, it better be - then you are ready to begin.
For those of you itching to point out today is Jan. 6, almost a full week after the 'New Year' and well past the resolution declaration period, zip it.
I'm starting on Monday, so can you.
In fact, I've already started. I've made a change. But as with all aspects in life, one change necessitates another.
As I stated two months ago in November, I have finally given up using smokeless tobacco. After 16 years of addiction, I finally quit that disgusting habit.
Today is Day No. 54 in my quit. I'm still addicted to nicotine. But today and the previous 53 preceeding days, I was nicotine free for that day. Quitting for good is daunting. Quitting for today is not.
But even quitting for today requires a commitment. It requires a yes.
More importantly, that yes has to be for you.
Trust me on this one. I've tried numerous times to quit in the past. I tried to quit for my mom. I tried to quit for a woman. I even tried to quit for my daughter because of the adverse effects on my health.
Each time was met with failure. When you quit for someone else, your focus is on the who of the quit and not the why. The why should be "I'm doing this for myself." It should be because "I want to quit." It's because "I'm ready."
While quitting for someone else is admirable, especially if it's someone close to you, family member or otherwise. But if you're not ready, you will subconsciously resent the person you're quitting for.
For example, the symptoms you're suffering through in the beginning or the cravings soon after are that person's fault. Not the drug. Or not that change you want to make. You attribute anything negative about your quit, or lifestyle change, with the person you're doing it for. It's counter productive. And it makes it all the more easier to cave.
Now when it's for you, that resentment isn't there. You finally admit there is no one to blame except you. If you resent yourself, it's for getting into this predicament in the first place. And you quit or make the change. It finally sticks.
Getting back to a resolution. Like many who've walked this path before more, quitting nicotine can and does lead to weight gain. You replace the nicotine with food. And while this is preferably temporarily, it begins to have its own ill effects ... namely weight gain.
When you're big to begin with, weight gain ... not a good thing. So as I said, one change necessitates another.
Like tobacco, I've repeatedly tried to get in shape in the past with varying degrees of minor success.
And like tobacco, I've repeatedly tried to make this change for different people and reasons. Every instance was begun with enthusiasm. But every instance also failed.
That's why this time, I'm going to succeed. And so can you. As long as you can answer yes when asked if you're ready.
I'm ready. Are you?
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org