The problem with New Year's resolutions

It's that time of the year again when we push Father Time off a cliff and welcome his heir Baby New Year to take his place. It's a violent tradition in our society but tradition nonetheless.

With the start of the new year resolutions are at the top of the majority of people's lists setting new goals to better themselves for the next 12 months. New year new changes: out with the clutter and in with the shiny and new.

While it's healthy to be in the mindset of change personal or otherwise making New Year's resolutions isn't something that should happen just once a year but rather throughout as the year progresses.

A change in diet more exercise quitting smoking finding love and getting a better job are all common resolutions but when it comes to tackling them all at once that's when people start to get frazzled and give up.

According to 45 percent of Americans make New Year's resolutions and only 8 percent actually achieve what they set out to accomplish. If you're in your twenties there's a 39 percent chance that you'll achieve your resolution but if you're over the age of 50 the chance that you'll achieve yours drops to 14 percent. Seeing how a majority of young people have the energy to try and tackle multiple things at once the numbers don't surprise me.

Not only is having multiple resolutions sometimes unrealistic but it also can take a toll on your mental health if you're juggling them all at once. Self-doubt and personal loathing become a reality when you either give up on your resolution or can't complete it within the span of a year. You might perceive yourself as a failure for not sticking with your plan only to repeat the same resolutions next year. It takes a toll as you're stuck in a never-ending loop like a modern day Sisyphus.

Some habits one is trying to break might have taken years to establish in the first place such as smoking or drinking so to try and quit cold turkey would be extremely difficult.

Slow and steady wins the race as my father would constantly tell me. With our society being in such a hare-mindset we must have everything as quickly as possible. Getting six-pack abs in the next two weeks isn't going to happen so slow down and actually take the time to establish a proper workout. Instead of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day try smoking one less cigarette every week.

The goal is not to complete all your resolutions within the first month but rather have an ongoing list of what you want to accomplish and update it every few weeks. How are you holding up on the learning a new language front? Muy bien keep up on your tareas. Want to find a date in time for Valentine's Day? Start an OKCupid profile and keep your information-and most importantly pictures-updated. Baby steps is the name of the game folks.

As for planning to exercise on a consistent basis keep in mind that the gyms are going to be packed for the next few months. It's a multi-billion dollar industry with a nice spike at the beginning of every year. According to the average cost of a gym membership is $55 and 67 percent of people with said memberships never actually use them.

If you do plan on going to a gym for the first time please keep in mind the proper gym etiquette of wiping down the machines after you're done and try to stay out of the way of the regulars. The constant flood of novices isn't something they enjoy dealing with during this time of year.

So to review: make an ongoing list of your goals and check-in/update it on a weekly basis throughout the year. Make realistic goals and don't be too hard on yourself if you don't end up accomplishing everything. If you need help with a certain resolution don't be afraid to ask for help or do research on getting to the next level. Slow and steady wins the race and may the odds ever be in your favor.