Well it is that time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions. I have never really been one to participate in that exercise of futility but many people do. I call it an exercise in futility because most New Year’s resolutions just don’t stick. A good, positive change can be done any time and its success depends more on your resolve and support network than it does on when you make it. I guess I make resolutions all the time – things like hitting the treadmill more, making time for family, connecting more with clients. We all have times in our lives where our equilibrium is out of balance and correction needs to be made and that adjustment is necessary for our own well-being.
So here are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions made every year.
1) Spend more time with family and friends
2) Get more fit
3) Tame the bulge/lose weight
4) Quit smoking
5) Enjoy life more
6) Quit drinking
7) Get out of debt
8) Learn something new
9) Help others more
10) Get organized
All in all, good things to improve on. All things that are admirable. However maybe too many of those resolutions are made halfway into a New Year’s Eve party! Without a game plan, a resolution itself is frequently an empty promise.
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.
It is also noted that talking with a counselor about setting goals and New Year resolutions can help people keep their resolutions.
So if there are changes you would like to make, increase your odds of success by putting a game plan together with your goal, seek help and medical advice where necessary, make goals achievable and measurable, and involve others to help keep you accountable.