Resolutions abound as 2012 kicks off

Bob Dean, 81, poses for a portrait inside of Gainesville Health & Fitness on Monday.

Max Reed
Published: Monday, January 2, 2012 at 9:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 2, 2012 at 9:53 p.m.

Forty-two hours into the new year, Omar Clinton sat at his laptop at a downtown cafe making the most of what he calls a global time of rebirth.

He said he's resolved to refine what he calls “personal inefficiencies.”

“Sometimes I procrastinate,” said the 33-year-old Gainesville resident who studies ballet and cognitive movement science at the University of Florida. “I want to work a little bit harder than I have, hustle more.”

Being willing to answer questions from random strangers, Clinton, the proprietor of a small fitness company, proved that he also was working on a third resolution Monday: “I want to have more compassion for others.”

Banishing the shadow of 2011 might be an occasion to resolve to remove the resulting poundage, debt or any sort of hangover. More than any other time of the year, you'll see TV ads hawking products to help you lose weight and quit smoking. Nothing about watching less TV.

Kyle Miller, fitness director at Gainesville Health & Fitness, confirmed Monday that this is absolutely the busiest time of year at the club where one can swim, stride and sweat the pounds away.

“We try to inspire people to hold onto their resolutions,” he said.

The next 30 days are key, he said. “That's when it becomes routine.”

Still, there are plenty who refuse to get philosophical just because the calendar turns.

“I think it's dumb — like wishing on your birthday cake,” said Ashley Antrobus, 20, of Gainesville.

Michelle Adams of Gainesville said she sees resolutions as a set-up for failure.

“When they don't come through, people start thinking of themselves as quitters and losers — and it lowers self-esteem,” said Adams, 51, who recently worked as a secretary. “It will happen when my mind says its time to get it done.”

For April Shafer, 41, of Gainesville, sitting at an outdoor cafe and smoking, New Year's is a time to re-evaluate what she liked about the previous year and what she didn't. She said she's been looking for a job “forever” and reflected that there might be something else she needs to work on.

“Having a better attitude in general,” said Shafer, who has worked in retail and restaurants, but would like to train dogs.

At 8-years old, though, life might seem perfect. Emery Davis of Gainesville was firm when he said he didn't have any New Year's resolutions.

“What about your room?” asked his dad, Jeff, a geologist for the St. Johns River Water Management District.

“Messier,” Emery said.

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