Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year to everyone and a welcome back to myself. As you can see from my first post, I intended to start this blog in July. Unfortunately, I had nothing to write about. I am going to give this another shot. My goal will be at least one post every week, sort of my own weekly column. We will call this my New Year's Resolution.

Why is it that every year we hear about people making their New Year's Resolutions? When is the last time that on December 31st you heard somebody say "I am proud to say that I completed my New Year's Resolution I set on January 1st? I can honestly say that I have never heard of anyone actually complete a resolution. Now this isn't to say that nobody has ever successfully committed to and completed a resolution.

Here are some statistics for you from Stephen Shapiro: 45% of Americans usually set New Year's Resolutions; 8% of those people are always successful; 24% (1 in 4) never succeed and have failed on every resolution every year; 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed.

Some people will choose resolutions based on money, relationships or organization, but most of the resolutions have to do with your weight or physical appearance. Look at the ads in the paper that comes out around January 1st - it's littered with deals on exercise equipment, videos and clothes. Visit your local gym or YMCA - notice how busy it is. But all you have to do is wait a month or two and it will be back to the normal traffic.

So my question is why do people, year after year, continue to make New Year's Resolutions when they know they will never go through with it? Perhaps the goal is set too high or perhaps there is nothing pushing them to follow through after the initial craze. If Target advertised exercise equipment, videos and clothes every single week on the front page of their ad, would that persuade you that you should be exercising because that is the "in" thing right now? Maybe this year try this. Make a New Year's Resolution with your spouse or friend that you both agree on. This way you can look out for and push one another. And set a realistic goal. Don't try to lost 20 pounds a month, when you know you can only get to the gym 2 days a week. And if you know you won't follow through at all, don't set a resolution to begin with.

Whatever you choose to do, I wish everyone a happy and successful New Year.

1 comment:

quartergoddess said...

Look at you blogging again! :)

I think the idea behind NYR is great. You realize that you want to change. There are things you can work on to be a better person/live a better life/accomplish what you want.

The problem is that most people don't change. They say they do, but they don't. They "try" to change, but then usually just give up and go back to the way they were because it's easier.

Which doesn't mean change isn't possible. But I think you have to decide on it, rather than hope for it.