Fun to make, but difficult to maintain. That can be said of babies and New Year’s resolutions. I know more people that don’t make resolutions than people that do, but of my friends and family that do make a New Year’s resolution, it is usually health related. And that is consistent with the research. According to University of Scranton’s research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology (1/1/2014), the number one New Year’s resolution for 2014 was to lose weight. In the top 10, more than half of the resolutions were health-related and/or self-improvement.
I, for one, love to make New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to think of them as goals, though. And I write them down in a journal. Almost half (45%) of American usually make a New Year’s resolution, the research showed. That’s good, because people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make them. According to Scranton’s research, the first week most people are successful too, with 75% of those surveyed maintaining their resolution the first week. However, enthusiasm usually wanes with time, as less than half (46%) maintained their resolution after 6 months.
Another great thing about writing them down is that you can revisit them later. I opened my journal back to the beginning of 2014 and found these “GOALS for 2014”
- Consistent family dinner time – at least 1 day (besides Sunday) that we always eat together
- More SLEEP – bedtime must be earlier – 9 p.m.
- Financial peace. Small debts paid off – no NEW debt incurred
- Run in another half marathon
- Find a NEW job
- Consistent with devotion and prayer time
- Love myself
- Have family “volunteer” days – go as a family to volunteer somewhere
- Make bed every morning.
Now, I can assure you that not every one of these were met. However, I am a bit surprised myself when I realize that several of them I have been successful at keeping. The sleep goal was huge for me. I used to be a night owl, staying up late (11 p.m. or midnight) watching TV or reading. Now, however, it’s rare for me to be up later than 10, and my goal is still 9 p.m.
Other things I resolved to do never got off the ground. The whole “half marathon” thing. Maybe that was a bit ambitious, since I was dealing with breast cancer and radiation at the time.
Some things I started, but didn’t continue. Making my bed, unfortunately, was one of those.
Many of the major changes in my life started as New Year’s resolutions. In 2010, one of my goals was to run in a 5K and to lose weight, both of which I accomplished. Other things, like learning Spanish with my son, didn’t pan out.
I’m looking forward to 2015. What do I want to accomplish, change or become? How about you?
Last year when contemplating my resolutions, I came across this idea on Pinterest and even wrote it down in my journal, but never completed it:
- A bad habit I’m going to break:
- A new skill I’d like to learn:
- A person I hope to be more like:
- A good deed I’m going to do:
- A place I’d like to visit:
- A book I’d like to read:
- A letter I’m going to write:
- A new food I’d like to try:
- I’m going to do better at:
So maybe I will combine my traditional resolutions with the above list. I’m still not sure and there is still time to contemplate it and pray. I do know one resolution/goal for 2015 that you can be a part of: this blog. My goal is to write a post each week. I want to become a better writer and to do that, I have to write…consistently.
What resolutions are you thinking about?