If your goal is to drop a few pounds in the coming year, you’re not alone. The top New Year’s resolution last December was to lose weight. The second most common resolution was to “get organized” followed by spending less or saving more. The fourth top New Year’s resolution was to “enjoy life to the fullest” and the fifth most common goal was to stay fit and healthy.
More than half of us make a promise to change something as the calendar turns from one year to the next. How many of us actually succeed? The odds are good that you keep your promise through the first week in January, but less than half of us keep our resolutions for six months, and according to StatisticBrain.com, only eight percent of us achieve success in maintaining that New Year’s objective.
However, you are more likely to attain your goal if you go through the effort to make the resolution in the first place.
What is the best way to make a New Year’s resolution? According to eHow.com, make sure your goal is achievable. None of us can stop global warming or bring word peace, so make sure you are considering something that is within your reach for the next twelve months, or longer.
Break your goal into specific terms and outline small steps in how you’ll make changes in your life. Instead of trying to lose fifty pounds in 2016, try losing five pounds per month and you’ll meet your goal with a few pounds to spare. Write down the goal and the steps you will take to get there, like exercise three times per week and cut down on desserts.
The first New Year’s resolutions were intended to be positive changes for the coming year. The Romans used the new calendar to remind themselves to be good to others, but the celebration became one of prayers and fasting after adopting Christianity as its official religion in the fourth century.
The Puritans kept the tradition of self-reflection going in the 18th century as they instructed their children to reflect on the past year and contemplate the New Year with commitments to become better neighbors and avoid sinful activities.
The StatisticBrain.com categorized our resolutions and report the top promises are related to self-improvement or education goals. Second resolution types are about weight goals, followed closely by money-related commitments and relationship-related resolutions.
The Women In Trucking Facebook pages includes over 9,000 members who were asked to share their New Year’s resolutions. While this is an unscientific sample, it is driver focused and the responses reflected this group of professionals.
Deb promised to keep up with paperwork and not procrastinate. She also resolved to listen more and speak less. Ingrid’s comment was to start asking for help and stop taking on “more than I can do.” Laura’s promise was to start putting her own needs first. Lisa agreed with this and stated that she would “take care of my needs and wants instead of putting myself last.” Lisa also resolved to get in shape and lose some weight. Tanya’s resolution was to “realize the need for patience among new drivers [who are] doing wrong maneuvers.”
If you are in your twenties, the odds of attaining your New Year’s goal are higher. StatisticBrain.com found that 39 percent of people in their twenties achieved their resolutions compared to only 14 percent of those over fifty.
According to historian Bill Petro (billpetro.com), a young Theologian named Jonathan Edwards created a list of seventy resolutions he promised to review on a weekly basis. A few notable ones include:
- Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
- Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
- Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
- Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
We could all use some positive changes in our lives and a new year is the perfect time to look forward and leave our old bad habits behind. Whether your resolution is to lose weight, get healthy, work on your relationships, take a class, or to “live with all your might,” it’s a great time to work on self-improvements.
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