Article posted Wednesday, January 7, 2015 2:56pm

Dear Mary Pat,

We’re only a week into the New Year and I already feel like I’m failing all my resolutions. I want to lose 18 pounds, go to the gym every day, organize my closets, clean out the garage, start reading more (less TV), de-clutter my office, and get a jump on tax prep. It’s so hard to be motivated when it’s so cold! Getting out of bed is a Herculean effort. Any tips to help me stay on track?


Can’t I Just Hibernate Instead?

Baileys Harbor, WI

Dear Can’t I Just Hibernate Instead,

You have some great resolutions, however, you can’t expect instant perfection. I agree that it is difficult to stay motivated when the wind chills are 20 and 30 below zero. But the most difficult thing is usually just starting. The thought of getting out from under your covers and driving to the gym is abhorrent, but do it anyway. Once you are there, it’s easy. Going to the gym will set the tone for your other goals and projects.

As far as the other things on your list, it can be overwhelming when you are trying to achieve so much. Consider breaking it down into smaller goals – start with your closets. Set a time (such as Saturday morning) and say to yourself that you will dedicate two hours to organizing your closets. You probably won’t even need that much time and then it can be removed from your list. Next tackle the garage. Look ahead at the forecast to see when the temps will be more favorable and then set aside four hours. And maybe save that for February. Rome wasn’t built in a day. No reason you have to cram everything into January.

Your office is something you can work on in small bits. Dedicate 20 to 30 minutes a day to filing and organizing and within one-and-a-half to two weeks, you will know where everything is and can begin your taxes. It’s easier to be motivated here if you think you will be getting a refund.

The beginning of each year is a good time to reflect and see how we can improve and grow. Just remember that slow and steady wins the race.

Good luck,

Mary Pat