Are You a New Year’s Resolution Maker?
If you are, congratulations, you’re in the majority. 63% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions at least some of the time. How did you do with last year’s resolutions? Not so good? Congratulations, you’re in the majority. Only about 8% achieve their annual goals. But this year is going to be different. Hey, isn’t that what you said last year?
New Year’s resolutions are created because we are filled with hope, desire to improve our lives and have a deep seated belief in our ability to accomplish whatever we set out to do. Personal history may or may not support this belief.
Fear not! Forge ahead. Statistics show that people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to achieve their goals than those that don’t. About a third of the American population never makes any New Year’s resolutions. That’s because their lives are already perfect and they have experienced self realization. In other words, they’re lazy and they know it.
“Wait a minute,” you say, as you push yourself into an upright position on the couch. “I get plenty done.”
And okay, yes, you are the exception. Now, let’s move on.
New Year’s Resolutions are not just an American pursuit. They can be traced back thousands of years through many civilizations. The Babylonians started the year by promising the gods to pay off their debts. Sound familiar? It should. Improving finances is the third most popular resolution. It’s something that everyone wants…along with another credit card.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. Janus got sick of broken promises and retired to Florida.
Medieval knights reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry each year. Chivalry was a moral system founded on honor, courtesy and readiness to help the weak. Like all other moral systems, chivalry disappeared twenty minutes after the first Hollywood studio opened.
So, if you want to improve your life over the next twelve months, making a New Year’s Resolution is a good idea. But you don’t want to be a member of the 92% that fails, do you? Okay then, here’s a list of resolution solutions that will point you in the right direction.
- Write it down. That makes your goal real. And let’s face it. If you can’t remember where you left your keys, you can’t trust your memory.
- Writing is great but it’s not magic. During the year, you actually need to look at your resolutions. If your list disappears into a desk drawer, it’s lost until you organize your workspace. And it won’t happen this year. Why? That goal is on the paper at the bottom of the drawer.
- Don’t go nuts. Make your goals important not impossible. If you are an over fifty fatso, “reducing sugar and carbs” is a great resolution. It will change your life and it’s doable. “Become an astronaut” well, that’s going to be tough.
- The more the merrier. If you only have one goal for the year, it’s a zero-sum game. Instead, write up a list of several goals for the year. If you get a few done, you’re a winner. Admittedly, you can take this concept too far. One year, based on the suggestion of a motivational speaker, I decided to create a list of 100 goals for the year. I couldn’t do it. And I’m okay with that failure. If you have 100 things that need changing in your life, “get professional help” should be on your list.
- Guaranteed success. Instead of committing to actions that will empower you and change your life for the better, take the easy way out. Make resolutions that you absolutely know you will complete. Here are a few examples.
- Keep smoking cigarettes
- Drink more beer
- Watch more television
Resolve to have a sensational 2016!