Here is what I read on the The Huffington Post today...
Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75 percent of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46 percent) are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found. It's hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you've swept up the confetti, but it's not impossible.
According to this feature, the following New Years Resolutions made it to the Top 10 for 2011:
- Lose weight
- Stay in touch
- Quit smoking
- Save money
- Cut your stress
- Go back to school
- Cut back on alcohol
- Get more sleep
Well before I saw this list, I already had a couple of things in mind that I wanted to work on this year. But, because I have made resolutions in the past that have not been fully met, I resolved ahead of time to not just set a goal, but to make sure it is realistic. Part of being honest with ourselves is to admit that we have areas of our lives that may not be in perfect order. Another key part of being honest, which often gets missed in our zeal to "get things done" is realizing that it will likely take more than one year to conquer whatever bad habit, struggle or issue we may be facing. While it's good to want to make improvements, it's not realistic to expect to perfection.
Looking over this list again, I realized that there are some resolutions that involve stopping or curbing a certain behaviour (like eating too much, smoking or drinking) and other resolutions that involve starting something (like volunteering). So many struggles and challenges are affected by personality. It requires discipline for someone like myself to stop doing something I love, while others need a kick in the pants to get them to take initiative to do anything. I find that amusing!
And after taking yet another look at this list, I see other things that make me want to laugh. Get in touch? Travel? Now, this is stuff I don't even need to think about. It's just a natural part of who I am. By 9am today, I had coffee with two close friends at Starbucks so we could all catch up with each other's lives. Around 11am, I called my sister who lives in North Carolina and we had a very motivational conversation planning our summer vacation and talking about how we see things shaping up in the coming year. Then, about two hours later, I received a call from a colleague who opened up with me about some personal concerns. Gosh...all of this connecting I did, not even realizing I was working on the 2nd most popular New Year's Resolution in America. And it didn't even feel like work.
Whatever you do,
work hard...play hard...and have a Happy 2011!