It is that time of the year again.
Every year, many people will pump in their greatest enthusiasm and make a promise to themselves on the first day of the year. What do they call it?
"New Year Resolution", of course.
"New Year Resolutions" can be ambitious, such as, "I must have a book published by the end of this year" or it can be simply "I must find sometime to clear up that mess in the back yard".
Whatever they may be, most "New Year Resolutions" never live long enough to celebrate the next new year. In fact, many would wear off soon after the new year party is over. A study has found that only 12% of those who made "New Year Resolutions" actually achieved their goals.
Despite the 'low success rate', many people would somehow find the same enthusiasm 365 days later and the same ritual is cyclically followed year after year.
It seems odd to me that few are bothered by their own broken promises, time and again.
I do not understand the purpose of having a "New Year Resolution". It is no different from any other goal-setting we do at any other time of the year. Why do we have to set a yearly goal at the beginning of the year? Is it just because we will be starting to use a new table calendar on that day?
If the "New Year Resolution" is to stop smoking, it makes no sense to me to 'ceremonially' wait till the first day of the year to embark on it.
My advice is that we should give no special significance to "New Year Resolution". All "resolutions" made at any other time of the year are important in their own way.
However, for some reasons, if the "New Year Resolution" ritual is really, really important to you, then here are some simple tips to avoid making empty promises to yourself.
1. Be Realistic
Make only one resolution. Make a good one and focus your energy to follow it through. You would need a plan or a schedule.
2. Plan Ahead
If you are only thinking about "New Year Resolution" now, forget it. Do allow yourself time to think about what is the one thing that you might want to set out to do next. (try again next year).
3. Be Specific
Instead of saying "I want to live a healthier lifestyle", tell yourself that you will "visit the gym on Mondays and Thursdays" or "drink only on Saturdays".
The study also revealed that men and women have different ways to 'keep their promises".
Set a SMART target (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based). In the study, 22% more men achieved their resolution when they do goal-setting.
You would be more successful if you tell your friends or family about your resolution. In the study, 10% more women achieved their goals after 'going public'. If you are a blogger like me, tell all your readers about it.
For me, there shall be no "New Year Resolution". Rather, I have been making a series of "New Resolutions" from time to time and I will continue to do so.
My life is a continuum (yours too).
Get "5 Keys to Successful New Year’s Resolutions" by Vin miller
"I think in terms of the day's resolutions,
not the year's."