New Year's Resolutions: To Make or Break?

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

It's 2017, the time when many New Year's resolutions are being made - and many will also be broken. More than half of Americans make some sort of resolution and over 3/4 fail to keep them. I am in the 38% who do not make them and this year is no different. However, my son heard the word bounced around over the holidays and asked what it was about. We told him it was a promise made to yourself to be a better person and it was made on New Year's Eve. He asked in a way only a 7-year-old could, "Isn't that what you ask for us everyday?" In our house, we try not to wait until New Year's Eve to try something new. Each day that we wake up is a new day, a day to start over, make changes, and to be happy. You don't need to wait for tomorrow, a new year, Monday or Friday. This past year, I joined a women's hockey team (then signed up for hockey lessons), my preciously shy daughter has started swimming lessons and is loving it, my son has added diving to his ever growing list of sports, and my husband has lost 70lbs eating right and exercising. Not one us of waited until December 31st. If you do make resolutions every year and continually break them, maybe it's time to stop making resolutions, or make different resolutions. Or try this approach from Jared Rice, who offers this great advice to help you stick to your New Year's resolutions: "Make a plan! This doesn’t have to be some elaborate process. Rather, it should fit with your style of doing things. If you prefer to scribble your notes on paper and keep it folded in your wallet all year, go with that. If you’re a techie, there is no end to the list of apps and tools for tracking such things. Bottom line, by building structure around your resolution and identifying some detailed actions to get you there, you can optimize your likelihood for success. Think about what needs to happen for you to achieve your goal. What actions must you take? By when? Try putting them in sequence so you know what comes first, second, third, etc. At all times, be as detailed and specific as possible. If your resolution lends itself to it, consider setting short-term achievement milestones throughout the year. Use your calendar or task manager to provide structure and cues, consistently reminding you of your plan. "If you need some extra motivation, vow that you WILL NOT set the same resolution next year. These things have a disconcerting track record of repetition. Make the extra effort to harness the power of the New Year for improving your health and your life. You can do it!" Photo from here, with thanks.