I saw an article recently that got me thinking about my current and future patients. It had nothing at all to do with obesity or weight loss – but like much of what I read, I often see a relationship. This particular article described how to buy the items you want at their lowest prices. It discussed the best times of year to purchase outdoor furniture (late Fall), cold-weather clothing (late Winter), and so on. But near the end of the piece, the author devoted a larger section of the article to the best time to purchase “exercise gear.” You guessed it: The beginning of the year. It’s no surprise that retailers are banking (literally) on the fact that most Americans will choose weight loss as a New Year’s Resolution. If you’re going to be among them, my question to you is – Why wait?

Lasting weight loss isn’t magic. Nor does it care what time of day, day of the week or month of the year it is. Lasting weight loss wants your devotion every minute and every day of every year. It doesn’t care when the calendar turns to January 1st. It only cares that when you make a promise to it, you keep your promise. You don’t cheat it, neglect it or ignore it. And when you treat it with the respect and attention it deserves, it WILL reward you. Big time.

If you’re severely overweight and “waiting” for January 1st to come around and save you, I hope you don’t mind being disappointed. Because it won’t. Only YOU can do that. Plus, research has shown that most people who make New Year’s Resolutions end up breaking them by February. Lasting weight-loss isn’t interested in a one-month fling with you. It wants a lifetime commitment. And for what it’s willing to give in return, that commitment is well worth it.

Make this the year that you’ll ignore the calendar, media hype and what everyone else is “going to do” in the New Year. If your goal is to get healthy, why wait? Start now. You’ll be the pacesetter for your friends and family members and it will feel great to be ahead of the curve instead of constantly trying to catch up with it.