Traverse City Record-Eagle

Body & Soul

January 4, 2014

Strategies for actually keeping New Year's resolutions

TRAVERSE CITY — Diane Parker and Sue Ballard have a plan to help them keep their New Year’s running resolution.

The women, both teachers from Gaylord, recently signed up to run in the Bayshore Half Marathon. They will train together, keeping each other accountable for the next five months. They’re both seasoned runners, but say it helps having a partner.

“As long as you pay and sign up, you have a reason to keep running,” Parker said. “And I find if I hook up with somebody who is more motivated than me, it helps.”

Parker smiled at her running partner while Tim Hinkle, a salesman at Running Fit in downtown Traverse City handed her a shoe to slip on her foot.

Hinkle says he sees plenty of runners walk through the store’s doors each January with ripe plans to be more healthy or active during the new year. He watches many of them hit the streets or the gym for a few months, trying to keep pace with their goals. And most of them fall off the wagon along the way, reverting to old habits or routines, he said.

Less than half of resolutions live past the six-month mark, according to statistics released by the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

That means, if you’re one of the people who buys a yearlong gym membership in January and use less than half of it, you’re not alone.

“You have to get out the door,” Hinkle said of keeping a running resolution. “The hardest step is the first one out the door. The things in life that are easy usually aren’t worth as much as those you work for.”

It’s that will to stick with it that has kept the 67-year-old running regularly for the past 40 years.

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