On the road to change? Stop right there

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On the road to change? Stop right there

It’s a brand new year. But you work at the same old job. Same faces. Same cafeteria food. Same lame jokes by your co-workers. So for once you’d love to see some change ― any change.
Your drive, determination and dedication to see that change are at a level unrivaled by Rush Limbaugh’s desire to talk, talk, talk.
You’ve added yet another tome to your huge library of fitness guides and books on healthy cooking and ways to quit smoking (all still in mint condition after all these years). You swear that this time around, yoga will be the route to conquering your love handles and your anger.
Your new gym membership has just been approved. That special discount certainly helped you spring for the three-month membership. (Sucker!) This time, you vow, it will be different. Change will happen. Or else.
Inside your head, the words “must succeed!!!” have found a cozy home ― the same place they nestled into last year around this time. Every year, membership in the New Year’s resolution club grows at a rate that the Ministry of Finance wishes for the economy. Every year, membership in this club runs out about two weeks later.
But don’t worry. Heck, the club is confident enough to throw an additional two-week extension to your trial period.
The bottom of your membership form says, “We require your e-mail information so that we can send you a free New Year’s resolution reminder.” Whoa! When was the last time anybody tried so hard to give you that much bang for the buck, with no hidden fees and no strings attached?
If you don’t screw up your vows for the new year by yourself, somebody will eventually do the job for you.
Having smoked for more than a decade, I have made many kinds of resolutions to avoid killing myself slowly but surely. Alas, just about all of them were in vain.
When only a few minutes remained before it was time to kiss 2003 goodbye, here’s what I did: Zilch. I’ve gotten smarter over the years. I’ve learned from my mistakes. So, I went ahead and lit up on the first weekend of 2004 and vowed to quit smoking afterward. There. No silly burden about keeping my New Year’s resolution, though I still have a full calendar year to try. And if the 500-won-a-pack cigarette price increase goes through as scheduled, it’d be yet another incentive to quit for good this time.
Let’s assume that the average adult breathes 25 kilograms of air per day. That’s 25 kilograms of air that you literally eat. There are just no tangible leftovers coming back out.
About 95 percent of all this breathing takes place inside a building. So it doesn’t help much if you happen to be in a building like mine, where secondhand smoke is a given. Try as you may, your health outlook is bleak. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator only makes matters worse because of all the guys puffing away there.
To keep a resolution, you’ve got to start small. You’ve already tried the big stuff like getting married or getting a life. They didn’t work, did they? It’s like hoping to see Joe Torre taking any team but the Yankees to the playoffs ― we know it won’t happen.
You want to do things that you can control. What’s easier to control than your body? As one company puts it: Just do it!

by Brian Lee
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