It’s 2014 and you already feel like a failure


Co.Exist slide show: Data visualizations of New Year’s resolutions as seen on Twitter

Have you given up on your New Year’s promise to yourself, already?!

BTW, if you made a resolution in the first place, you’re not alone. Check out this cool data visualization at Fast Company’s Co.Exist website of “the promises people will try to keep in 2014, as seen on Twitter.”

As you can see, a heck of a lot of New Year’s resolutions relate to personal health—whether it’s giving up smoking, or exercising more or sleeping more.

If you’ve already flunked out—failed—tossed in the towel—on your health-related resolution, find new resolve by listening to this inspiring podcast—from the weekly radio show People’s Pharmacy with Joe and Terry Graedon. It aired Jan. 4 on public radio and you can fetch it from iTunes. The Graedons interviewed Dr. David Katz, the founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and, most recently, author of Disease Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well.

Katz is filled with uncommon common sense and great tips about how we can change our ways and achieve improved “health expectancy”—not just improved life expectancy because it sucks being old and sick—by eating, sleeping and exercising better.

In the interview, he makes an excellent point about the need to approach our health obstacles one step at a time. Put simply, you won’t be able to achieve a better sleep goal without first incorporating exercise into your daily life, and it’s really tough to improve your lousy eating habits if you’re over-tired all the time, which causes you to binge on carbohydrates.

ABE for Fitness program

A-B-E for Fitness program helps you inject ‘activity bursts everywhere’ in your daily life.

But adding exercise to your sedentary lifestyle and really sticking with it is an enormous challenge. Exercise may be the best cure for insomnia—or the first step in a cure—but if you are bored to death at the thought of going to a gym 3-4 times a week, you’re never going to stick with it.

That’s where some of Katz’s great ideas come in. First, figure out what active stuff you enjoy. Is it dancing? Put on some headphones and dance, alone in your living room—or take a Zumba class, or get out for long walks with your dog, get out in your garden more?

Aside from finding the physical activities you truly enjoy and doing them regularly, you need to incorporate Katz’s concept of “activity bursts everywhere.” Sitting at your desk all day, hour after hour, is a no-no. Jump up regularly to do stretches. Drop to the floor and work on your core. All it takes is 5 minutes here, there and everywhere.

Here’s the website that will show you how to add these activity bursts into your life. Check out the A-B-E for Fitness program. The site has tips, inspiration and videos demonstrating activities and exercises you can do anywhere—at home, in the office, even in a waiting room.

Let 2014 be a year of no more excuses, inactivity and poor sleep. Get up, get moving–and sleep better as a result. Yes, you can!

Guest Blog by Barbara Nelles, digital editor BedTimes and Sleep Savvy

About ISPA


  1. Motivating article! There’s no better sleep than sleep that feels earned!

  2. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE sleep. Some may even call it a love affair! Me and sleep, we love each other. Fiercely! My gym routine is picking up again after a month of slacking. Looking forward to hard workouts and fantastic sleep in 2014!

  3. Thanks for this kick in the butt!

  4. Stella Gukasyan says:

    Thank you, Barbara Nelles for reminding me that yoga at 8PM tonight is a commitment I cannot forego!

  5. Facinating article. Lots of good ideas. Well written and informative

  6. Well written! I´m sharing it with some students. They need to study hard and then find it difficult to go back to “normal” sleeping habits after exams. I will continue to use the term Health expectancy, that is really what we need to achieve

  7. Thanks for the reminder to jump up from the computer. It’s the sedentary bane of my existence. I did yoga today when no one was observing at the office.

  8. Motivating blog at exactly the right time. Thank you!

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