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To Resolve or Not to Resolve....That is the Question

Why most resolutions don't stick and what you can do increase the odds.

New Years Resolutions: To Resolve or not to Resolve…That is the Question

The New Year is upon us and so many people are ready to make their New Year’s Resolutions.

Are they really worth it? Do they really work? In this post I will examine the most common resolutions, the rate of failure, and things to improve upon your chances of really making them stick.

Some Statistics

This according to Time Magazine web article

 Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions

#1 Lose Weight and Get Fit

#2 Quit Smoking

#3 Learn Something New

#4 Eat a Healthier Diet

#5 Get Out of Debt and Save Money

#6 Spend More Time With Family

#7  Travel to New Places

#8 Be Less Stressed

#9 Volunteer

#10 Drink Less or Quit Drinking

Any surprises on the list?

I’m willing to bet most if not all of us have made at least one or more of these or a combination of them.

According to a survey conducted by Hunter Public Relations on behalf of MorningStar Farms of 1,000 Americans (ages 18 years and older) …  among people who have made resolutions in the past, nine in 10 people have set health-related goals.  Such goals include losing weight (66 percent) ….eating less junk food (47 percent) and consuming fewer calories (36 percent).

However, when it comes to staying on-track and keeping those resolutions – health and otherwise – the majority of those surveyed (88 percent) indicate they have failed, with more than two-thirds of them calling it quits in three months or less.

Not exactly very promising results for resolutions!

Now this was just one survey, I am sure there are similar results with other surveys.

“Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.”  ~Author Unknown

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”  ~Author Unknown

So Know that we know the odds…..

Lets look at why they don’t work and what we can do to greater increase our odds of making them STICK this time.

One of the reasons many people fail is they set too many resolutions. We have to focus on one or two at a time.

Or they expect too much too soon. Change does not happen overnight. If you have 100 pounds to lose it will realistically take some time to lose the excess weight. Don’t get discouraged that it isn’t instant. It will take lots of hard work and dedication.

Another reason people fail resolutions is they have no specific plan of action. They say I want to lose 100 pounds…… How are you going to do it?  Make a plan. Write it on paper. If it’s fitness and you have no clue how to go about this you can hire a trainer.

Another reason people fail is lack of support. Tell your friends, family, co workers anyone that will help hold you accountable. Better yet if you have a goal to lose weight get another friend to commit to getting fit with you. Then you can hold each other accountable.

Too many people fall into the “All or Nothing” mentality. This is such a mistake. We are all human. If you have a meal that isn’t on your plan or miss a workout because you had to work late, forget it and move on.

“Supposing you have tried and failed again and again.  You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.”  ~Mary Pickford

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”  ~Elbert Hubbard

Perhaps the biggest thing to remember about resolutions is…..

A lot of people forget that a resolution is really just a GOAL.

It has to be treated as such.

It doesn’t have additional superpowers just because it starts on January 1.

A goal requires structure. Otherwise, it’s a wish.

Realistic goal setting has been proven to work!

Write it down and plan, plan, plan! Or if you need help making a plan ask for help or hire someone to help you make that plan.

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

What are you going to WRITE in your book this year?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mary Miettinen December 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM
I really enjoyed reading your article. I carry a resolution over from an old year to a new one with the simple solution that keeping good habits is a lifelong adventure. If I forget the journey to get there, I lose the value of the effort. Mary
Shawn Stevens December 28, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Thank You, Mary. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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