Help available for starting the new year on the right foot |

Help available for starting the new year on the right foot

Amy Hamilton

Most of us are guilty. It’s difficult to find many who aren’t.

It’s that time again when New Year’s resolutions are readily cast but often broken soon after the last touchdown of the college bowl season.

According to some loose estimates, only about 20 percent of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. But still, we pledge to lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more, save money; whatever it takes to rid of the old year and hail in the new.

The two most common New Year’s resolutions stem from a desire to maintain healthy lifestyles, according to author James Prochaska in his book Changing for Good.

Eighty-five percent of the state’s more than 640,000 people who smoke cigarettes said they want to quit. But less than 5 percent of those who are successful on their own, said officials at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Cindy Biskup, director of Moffat County’s Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, said the New Year is a good time to try to quit smoking or using substances.

“Any time you can find a reason for quitting is a good time,” she said.

Biskup relayed that holidays leading up to New Year’s may be one of the hardest times to escape bad habits.

“People have had so much going on with the holidays that it’s hard to focus,” Biskup said.

Others vow to exercise more and eat healthier with the hope of losing weight.

Trapper Health Club is already seeing some effects of those fulfilling New Year’s resolutions.

“We see about a five percent increase in the amount of memberships after the first of the year,” said Ed Stehlin, manager of the health club.

A 2001 study by General Nutrition Centers showed an overwhelming 88 percent of respondents vowed to be healthier in the new year.

That year, 55 percent of the respondents said they would eat healthier, 50 percent wanted to exercise more and 38 percent of those people said they wanted to lose weight.

Losing weight and quitting smoking have both been goals over the years for 72-year-old Norma Willis of Sunset Meadows. One year she vowed to lose weight and did — 30 pounds worth.

“It’s the only one I’ve ever kept,” she said.

Quitting smoking, however, is a lofty goal.

“I’ve tried to quit smoking, I don’t know how many times,” she said. “I haven’t been successful yet.”

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or

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