Every time New Year's rolls around people traditionally resolve to change their lives for the better. We want to stop smoking, earn more money, spend time with the family and so on. But the number one resolution has to be losing weight.

We resolve to exercise more, eat less, eat better, visit the gym and drink more water.

But as we all know, resolutions often don't last long. So why bother making them?

Consider these 10 reasons NOT to make dieting resolutions, and what you CAN do instead.

  1. Resolutions set you up for failure because you try to do too much too fast. We creatures of habit don't change our ways easily. Making a tiny change presents a huge challenge, but resolutions completely turn your life upside down. Start with one small step, such as drinking an extra glass of water each day.
  2. Resolutions made in haste prove unrealistic. Take time to think things through and choose a program that is optimum for you.
  3. Resolutions represent emotional decisions. Don't decide to revise your life when you feel stressed, pressured or depressed.
  4. Resolutions frequently come at a bad time in your life. January 1 works out nicely on the calendar, but it may not be a good point in your life. Many other stressors beyond your control may be happening. Resolving to start exercising or give up hamburgers while a parent struggles with cancer spells a combination for disaster.
  5. Resolutions can be made at a time when you don't have the moral support you need. Losing weight is tough on your own. Getting together with others multiplies your chances of being successful. If you can't find a group of other dieters to start with you on January 1, you may lose your motivation.
  6. You may feel pressured to adopt a resolution just because it's the start of the new year. Without your own motivation, you won't be successful. When you're ready, that's the best time, even if it's July 10th or November 27th!
  7. Resolutions can be gimmicky, accompanied by lots of hype in the media. Not exactly the stuff of long-term life planning.
  8. You don't take resolutions seriously because they were made in a holiday mood and therefore easily discarded.
  9. Once a resolution has been abandoned, you feel you have failed, and it's that much harder to set goals again.
  10. You may feel peer pressure to adopt the same resolutions as your friends. Do what's right for you!

Don't be a slave to January 1. There are 364 other great days to change your life!