The Beginning-Again Ritual

Yep, it’s a new year.  I was in the grocery store today and, while the candy aisle was noticeably empty, I could barely get through the produce department’s enormous shopping-cart traffic jam.  Everyone had cases of diet soda, fresh vegetables, “lite” commercial products, and cartons of yogurt in their buggies.  At the checkout, I noticed very few cookies or chips, but saw lots of healthy and pseudo-healthy things being rung up.   There were coupons everywhere for diet, low-fat, fat-free, sugar-free and whole-grain products.  I think several people were wearing track suits.

Now I am not going to be snide here, because I’ll freely admit that my own shopping cart – which usually carries pretty healthy products anyway – was loaded up with some ambitious quantities of fresh produce.   I have enough spinach and romaine to make salads for a week (which is about how long this conscious-eating effort will likely last).   I also parked at the end of the parking lot so I’d have to walk some extra steps.

Why do we find the new year so inspirational for trying new things, making healthy improvements to our lifestyle and just generally ‘starting over’?  What is it about a fresh calendar year that motivates us to do things we ought to be doing all along?

And most importantly, why does the honeymoon end so quickly?

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