People who are striving to improve themselves – and who are using the impetus of a New Year’s resolution to start – shouldn’t feel alone. Nearly 50% percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. And of those, approximately 40-45% keep them.
That’s a lot of cigarettes not smoked, cream puffs passed up, and homes de-cluttered across the country. In fact, so many people make those goals at midnight, that the government has a website with resources for resolutions. The topics range from becoming healthier by drinking less alcohol, to helping the planet by learning how to recycle. There are also more ambitious resources on the site, like learning how to travel internationally.
Of course, New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be grandiose. In fact, some of the best plans involve small steps that will lead to lead greater confidence, which will hopefully lead to bigger and better plans in the future.
For instance, it’s difficult to make plans to travel internationally when one is constantly behind on credit card payments. But if credit card bills keep getting buried under junk mail, the clutter can overwhelm a person to the point of inaction, because clutter is simply delayed decision making. So something as small as learning to organize a desk and mail area can make a person feel more confident.
However, one of the most important things to concentrate upon is keeping obtainable goals. It’s not realistic to drop 20 pounds by the end of January (and if you do, it’s certainly not healthy.) No smoker is never not going to be tempted again, nor will a person with a sweet tooth walk by a bakery without a twinge of longing.
However, the fastest way to self-sabotage is to quit trying. One chocolate brownie isn’t the end of the world, the important thing is to do better tomorrow.
One of the reasons that New Year’s resolutions are so appealing, is that a brand new year creates a sense of optimism. The chance to make a goal and reach it is something that everyone aspires to. Amd the difference with making a goal on New Year’s Eve, is that there’s a shared sense of inspiration.