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New Year's resolutions are difficult to achieve

Thursday, January 4, 2007

SIKESTON -- The majority of those who have made New Year's resolutions are probably already struggling to keep their goals.

Statistics show over three-quarters of all resolutions made are broken by the end of January. But those who have had success and failure in the past will say it's all about motivation and flexibility.

"There's always things you fail at and there's always things you like to do," said Becky Klingeman of Sikeston. She sets several goals each year, and although she wasn't successful in all of them for 2006 Klingeman said she's happy with her accomplishments.

She achieved her fitness goals, averaging working out three times a week, although she sometimes only went to the gym once because of feeling ill or holidays. "And then you kind of just pick it back up," she said. She wants to stay in shape this year, too.

Gary Collier of Sikeston also worked to get in shape in 2006. He surpassed his goal of losing 200 pounds by five pounds, after having gastric bypass surgery in December 2005. "It was just a lot of hard work," he said. "But I'm a whole different person. I feel great, and my wife says I look great."

But his accomplishment comes after years of failed resolutions to lose weight. Other years, he would lose weight, but never keep it off or lose large amounts.

Collier kept motivated by his advances. "The more weight I lost, I just wanted to hang in there and just do more and more," he said.

One of the hardest parts was dieting, especially around the holidays. But, his wife gave him a lot of support, cooking his sweets with Splenda, a sugar substitute. And this year, he is working to keep in shape and lose another 25 pounds.

Although losing weight is a top goal, it's not the only one. Klingeman said she also fulfilled her resolution of getting through the holidays without charging all her purchases to a credit card.

"I started at the end of November when the sales start instead of late December when I normally do all my shopping," she said. "Kind of spreading it out more really worked."

Five years ago, Collier gave up smoking as a New Year's resolution -- after he "failed at it miserably" the year before. "I kept my mind busy," he said. "You've got to set your mind to it and work for those goals."

Klingeman didn't achieve some of her resolutions last year, but is working on them again this year. Her family camps often, so she wanted to get a camper in 2006. "We never got to, so now I want to do that in 2007," she said.

And although one can set a goal to better themselves any time of year, Klingeman said for her, it is best to make them in the beginning. "It just helps you set goals more easily," she said. "It's any established holiday for doing things like that."