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THE BAD NEWS: You’ll Probably Abandon Your New Year’s Fitness Goals

THE GOOD NEWS: It doesn’t have to be like this

Story and Photos by Mike Chalmers

of us will stick with our New Year’s resolutions—no matter what they are. There’s a virtual library-of-Alexandria-sized number of reasons as to why we abandon these once- so-passionately-constructed campaigns—how does it go: Humans make plans and the universe laughs? So what’s the deal? Why does it go like this—why has


it always gone like this? And in particular among these grand plans, why does physical health always seem to be the most fl imsy of the endeavors—even as it sits ever so steadfastly among such annual compendiums? Sift through any “Top New Year’s Resolutions” list, and you’ll fi nd at least three or four of the top ten items dedicated specifi cally to physical health—from losing weight to quitting smoking to eating healthier to drinking less alcohol.

rom the NY Daily News to Forbes to WebMD to TIME magazine (and many more), most folks that make a career out of analyzing trends, data, and cultural information all agree that fewer than 10 percent

The Shepherd University Wellness Center offers a wide range of options for getting, and staying, healthy—all within a gorgeous facility.

Also worth mentioning, the top six resolutions by Americans haven’t changed in nearly ten years: lose weight, get out of debt, eat healthier/exercise, save more money, get organized, and spend more time with family (according to time management fi rm FranklinCovey).

No matter how hard we try, it seems that for most

of us, the person we were on December 31st, is the exact same person we are on January 1st—and to that end—the same person we will be on January 31st (FranklinCovey, which provides time management tools, also reveals that over 33 percent of us don’t even make it to the end of January with our resolutions). The New York Times says that fully 92 percent of folks

who set New Year’s goals will either fail or abandon them. Does this sound outrageous to you, or familiar? I’m leaning towards the latter. But again, let’s look at the physical health component: the food, the fi tness, the fl exibility, the “fun.” What is it about this particular area of goal setting for folks that rarely makes enough

sense, or stimulates enough inspiration, to fully pursue beyond even a month or two? Well, rather than speculate any further, we asked

some health and fi tness professionals in Jefferson County what they’ve learned about New Year’s resolutions, and how folks in this area might be able to approach their goals this year with a bit more perspective—and hopefully fi nd much more success. Christa Mastrangelo owns and operates jala YOGA, with locations in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, and Winchester (Va.). As it applies to overall, sustainable fi tness and health, she sees herself returning to a theme of consistency and accountability with her clients.

“I work to help students create and maintain a ‘personal practice,’ in which they are practicing on their own at home,” she said. “I encourage them to remember that the big benefi ts are seen in consistency, and not necessarily the duration of each session.” Mastrangelo knows that if her students can

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