The goal-setting wizards of the world suggest writing down new year's resolutions to give us a better chance of achieving them. I'm giving myself a double dose of opportunity to actually stick to even one resolution, by putting them in print.

I'm going to set a timer when brushing my teeth. Dentists recommend brushing for two minutes so your teeth won't fall out. Even though it doesn't sound very long, it can be, when watching yourself in the mirror with foam coming out of your mouth. In the big picture of health, two minutes, twice a day, is a small resolution.

I'm swearing off chocolate, for real this time, to make my teeth happier and to slow down the accelerating rate of fat cell growth. Slowly, but surely, I'm gaining back the pounds I lost a couple of years ago, and it's time to put my foot down, literally.

It's the year of the rabbit so I'm going to act like one. I will nibble on carrots and all those tasty vegetables that never, ever make you feel full but give you enough gas to run the Goodyear blimp.

I will commit to walk at least a mile, daily. No ifs, ands or buts. Walking doesn't require any fancy equipment – just a pair of tennis shoes and the will to make it happen. Just like the postal carrier, neither rain, snow or sleet, I am going to walk.

Besides signing up for the typical health screenings people my age have the pleasure of receiving, this pretty much takes care of my physical resolutions. Since they are my resolutions, you would think I could say with certainty they will all happen but, I know myself better than that, and will hope I'll at least brush my teeth for two minutes.

Even though changing physical behavior is challenging, altering the way we think is like asking yourself for a favor. You really want to accommodate, and will even attempt, but more often than not, favors to ourselves are either deferred to a later date, denied all together or counter-offered with something else.

A perfect example is when I talk myself into getting back on track. I'll get all hyped up to eat right and exercise and will set a date to begin. When that day comes and goes, (usually, always on Mondays) I'll brainwash myself into believing I was justified for eating the bag of Oreos instead of an apple, because the timing wasn't right or, I couldn't begin a diet until I went to the grocery store.

I feel the need to make this year monumental. I’m getting scary close to 60. Isn’t that when folks usually have a mid-life crisis?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for a crisis, but I would like to tack on as many more years as I can and according to the fancy-dancy doctors, eating Oreos and considering the walk from the car to the office my only form of exercise, isn't going to cut it.

Here's a toast to the new year, new tennis shoes and more than likely, another round of excuses.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at