Tales From A Hungry Life

January 4, 2017

New Year, Same Old You?

by Maria Schulz

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

While ringing in the New Year, I often think about those pesky resolutions that I made last year that never stood a chance. Why can’t I be like those superstars out there that go from couch potato to Marathon boy and girl wonders? Why do I continue to be derailed by Hershey’s Krackle and Mr. Goodbar? How come I never went skydiving, saw the Mona Lisa in person, or ticked off any boxes on my Bucket List?

Wise words from Calvin and Hobbes

Wise words from Calvin and Hobbes

I turned to research for the secrets to New Year’s resolution success, and here’s what I found:

92% of people will not reach their goals this New Year. That’s right! You are not alone. Those lousy 8 percenters are!

The reason most people will fail is because they never make specific goals. If your goal is to “feel better,” “look great,” or “get in shape,” here’s a tip. The more specific you are about what you want to achieve, the better. Instead of “feeling better,” determine that you’re going to stop smoking by March or drop 10 pounds by April to lessen the strain on your joints. Get your hair trimmed and colored every 4 weeks so you don’t look in the mirror and see your grandma looking back. Measure your arms, legs, abdomen, and thighs—and set a specific, measurable goal of losing 2 inches, 4 inches, or however many inches it takes to make you feel less like the Michelin Man. That’s how you will keep track of your progress, and make real time adjustments when you’ve stalled or gone backwards.


Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Don’t tell yourself: “I will lose weight, eat better, and climb Mount Everest,” and then give up a day or two later because:

  1. a) You don’t even know how to begin losing weight
  2. b) Is only half a bag of potato chips better than the whole bag?
  3. c) You hate climbing the hill outside your house. Who really believes you’re going to climb Mount Everest? Not you, for starters.

Reset your expectations. Choose to lose 5 pounds. Once that goal is achieved, choose to lose another 5. Keep going until you hit your intended goal. Saying “I’ll lose 100 pounds by March” this January only sets you up for failure. And P.S.: skip the potato chips. Eat an apple.

Stay away

Stay away

Know thyself. If you’re like me and you know your triggers, do yourself a favor: don’t let them anywhere near you. I can’t have a bag of chocolates in my cupboard because their siren song lures me to their rocky shoals. Keep those b*tches out of your house!

Give yourself a break. Any big change comes with successes and failures. Yes, you will be stoked when you take three steps forward. But will you throw in the towel when you take two steps back? Make believe you are your own child. Would you berate them for failing or encourage them to keep going? Be kind to yourself. Everybody screws up. It takes courage to forge ahead.

Get moving

Get moving

Ditch the “all-or-nothing” and “Weekend Warrior” attitude. You can have a cookie but you have to cut the calories elsewhere or you will not succeed later. You can also exercise a little bit all week long instead of trying to compensate by exercising like a maniac over the weekend. This will only lead to injuries. Do a little bit every day and you’ll see results. Just like the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the race.


Replace Bad Habits with Something Fun. Lying on the couch, having an existential crisis (why oh why haven’t I become the next J.K. Rowling???), and wondering what TV show I will watch next gets boring. But popping in Just Dance and figuring out the steps while I rock out to Bruno Mars is never dull. I know it’s funny, because my kids can’t stop laughing.

Are we having fun yet?

Are we having fun yet?

Congratulate yourself for a job well done. Did you accomplish even part of your goals? Give yourself the proverbial gold star. Yes, folks—I am an 8 percenter! I lost 18 pounds last year and I haven’t managed to find them again (yet). The only reason I achieved this goal was that I took the time to:

  • Download an app that lets me log my food intake every single day. Yes, that becomes a drag really fast. But you know what’s a bigger drag? Blindly trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong when the pounds stop coming off. All I have to do is look at my food log and I know what the problem is. Potato chips and chocolate are usually the culprits.
  • Keep up that gym membership. Yeah, I don’t really love the gym. I wish I did, but let’s face it: I’d rather be lying on the couch. But you know what? I’m always delighted by myself after I’ve finished. So, I pull my slug-like body up, lace up those sneakers, and go before I’ve talked myself out of it.
  • Bring lunch to work. I still go out with my friends, but since I’ve already eaten, I don’t need to eat a burrito that is almost as big as me (sometimes I give in to the burrito’s siren song, because being good all the time is an equally big recipe for disaster)
  • I can’t lose weight if my four food groups are McDonald’s, Burger King, Five Guys, and IHOP. I signed up for lots of newsletters that give me great recipes that are healthy, delicious, and fast so I’m not tempted to get take-out…and lay on the couch afterwards berating myself.
Get your gold stars here

Get your gold stars here

I may not have met Mona Lisa face to face yet, but the year is young! Now I’m off to make a plan….


Steak and Blue Cheese Wraps



You can also use sirloin steak (instead of flank steak, if you prefer) and reduced fat mayo with blue cheese crumbles (instead of the dressing). But either way, these wraps are delicious and satisfying.


So, Hungry Lifers…are you one of the 8 percenters? What goals are you trying to achieve this year? What’s your favorite healthy dinner recipe? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks, and Happy New Year.



  1. Ok good advice Maria. I do get my hair colored every four weeks. Start there, it’s the easiest of these goals. While you are there you could write a blog entry, make a menu plan and do leg lifts. See it’s the best thing for you. 😀Happy New Year🎉

    Comment by Suzanne — January 4, 2017 @ 9:20 am | Reply

    • Yes, I will be the most popular customer at the salon! Happy New Year…so glad to still have you reading and commenting.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — January 4, 2017 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  2. This is great! You are an inspiration! A friend from choir started a Facebook support group for her friends, and we check in during the day to see how everyone is doing with meals and exercise. Accountability helps. Great job, 8-percenter! I’m proud of you!

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — January 4, 2017 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  3. I have never been one to make resolutions because that would mean being specific and setting up a plan while we know that plans made at one point never figuring out what might happen at some point down the road that will throw that proverbial monkey wrench into the works. Somewhere along my journey of life I head this; “Man plans and God Laughs!”. So I usually just try to have some idea where I am and where I would like to be and then take the day as it comes because it comes quickly and goes even quicker. But if I was to make a resolution or two they might be this. Start my novel which would have to have some hot sex scenes in it if it would ever sell which means my kids and grandkids could never read it (resolution 1A). Continue to buy Mega Millions and Power Ball because if you ain’t in it you can’t win it. When I do win it produce my daughter’s book into a great picture with Robert De Niro playing her father. With the money left over set up trusts for everyone but keep enough for myself so when I die I die with a smile on mt face. But like I said I don’t make resolutions I just try live a dream and be happy. Wait a minute here’s my resolution; Live, Love Laugh and be happy!

    Comment by bglou — January 4, 2017 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

    • I’m looking forward to Robert Deniro’s interpretation of you. Please don’t tell me when your novel gets published for many reasons.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — January 4, 2017 @ 5:10 pm | Reply

  4. Maria, I have to say I am in the 8 percent. I set a goal several years ago and have achieved it each year as i get older. I do not get frustrated, never look back over failures, and and am happy with my attempts to continue on this path. What is my New Year’s resolution? Never to make any more New Year’s resolutions.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — January 12, 2017 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

    • I’m not really a believer in resolutions for the New Year, but I think it’s always good to try to reach goals that seem out of reach. I try not to get frustrated but that’s a hard one!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — January 12, 2017 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

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