How to keep your New Year's resolutions
The goals remain the same, but the number of Americans setting New Years resolutions sits at the lowest level since 2004. While a new Marist poll says only four of ten Americans will, those with high hopes say failure is not inevitable. Our John Wagner has the story.
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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Patrick and Denise O'Donoghue signed up for a gym membership at Mike Arteaga's Health and Fitness Club, committing their time and money. The first steps toward a new – and improved –year.
"You have to start with yourselves," said Patrick. "This is a good starting point, put one foot in front of the other."
"It's to get healthy, it's time, we're getting a little older, the kids wanted to join, so we decided to do it as a family," said Denise.
Gyms will be booming over the next month as losing weight and exercising topped resolution wish lists. Saving more money, stopping smoking, and being a better person rounded out the top five.
But the Marist poll says if you made a New Year's resolution, you're probably not all that old.
"If you're under 45 years of age, 59 percent tell us that they're going to be making New Year's resolutions, only 28 percent of those that are over 45," explained Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Poll.
The real question is how to live up to the resolutions when you get busy and stressed out. People we talked to say to make reachable goals, create new habits, and get some friends to help out.
"Actually verbalizing it and making a commitment to others is probably the best," said Reverend Walter Leflore, who said he doesn't make resolutions.
"They just have to have a little self-discipline," said Lou Retzer who says he will continue going to the gym. "They need to discipline themselves and say nah, I'm not going to skip it today, I gotta go, I gotta go. Once you get into the habit, the rest is easy."
Gym directors say that with TVs, music, and group sessions, they're trying to make New Years resolutions easier to swallow.
"Exercise is the magic pill that we're looking for," said Erica Woolley, the healthy back and neck director at Mike Arteaga's Health and Fitness Club.
New members should start slow by working out two or three times a week for up to an hour.
"And they start to see the changes happening and often that inspires people to come in a little bit more," said Woolley.
"If we're healthier, we'll be happier," committed Denise O'Donoghue. "And hopefully  will get better."