We're not sure who said it first - Albert Einstein? Mark Twain? Benjamin Franklin? Mystery writer Rita Mae Brown? None of the above? - but you've probably heard this famous quote: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
While true "insanity" is, unfortunately, a little more complicated than that, this quote seems relevant in the first weeks of a new year - as many of us sign up for gym memberships we'll never use, fill our fridges with broccoli and tofu we'll never eat, and vow to suddenly stop smoking, drinking, gambling or whatever other vice we want to lose.
The intentions are good, but as anyone who's failed to achieve a new year's resolution could tell you, it's next to impossible to do a 180 overnight.
Of course, there are success stories, but they're in the minority. For the rest of us, making new year's resolutions either goes by the wayside or becomes a bit of a joke - "Oh, sure, this is the year I'll lose 20 pounds!"
What can we do to turn this situation around? Maybe the solution is to set much more modest goals, ones we can actually achieve.
Instead of a goal to lose 20 pounds, for example, we could set a goal of drinking one fewer can of soda a day.
Once that becomes a pattern, we could set another small goal, such as looking for a parking spot as far away as possible from the front doors of the mall, instead of trying to snag the one that involves the least amount of walking.
This approach won't yield results overnight, but if we can achieve a small success, it might boost us to take the next step and, eventually, achieve our larger goal.
Whether you've made a resolution or not, we wish you all the best in 2013.