Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions

Do you believe in making New Year’s Resolutions? Do you ever review them once you have written them? What percentage of them do you keep throughout the year?

Read on to learn the history of resolutions, the most common ones made, some interesting statistics as well as some tips to be more successful at making and achieving your New Year’s Resolutions.

We found this on wikipedia…A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.

History of Resolutions:

“The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted. During a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These promises could be considered the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions. If the Babylonians kept to their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor—a place no one wanted to be.” from The History of New Year’s Resolutions by Sarah Pruitt, December 2015. Click here to read the entire article.

Listed below from Statistic Brain Research Institute are some of the common resolutions that people make and the percentages of the people that make that particular resolution. Notice the big drop in percentage from number 1 to number 2.  Click here to read the rest of the article from the Statistic Brain Research.

Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2017 Percent
Lose Weight / Healthier Eating 21.4%
Life / Self Improvements 12.3%
Better Financial Decisions 8.5%
Quit Smoking 7.1%
Do more exciting things 6.3%
Spend More Time with Family / Close Friends 6.2%
Work out more often 5.5%
Learn something new on my own 5.3%
Do more good deeds for others 5.2%
Find the love of my life 4.3
Find a better job 4.1%
Other 13.8%
Go for a walk.

Are you interested in making some New Year’s Resolutions? Let us give you some tips.

SMART is a an acronym used as a guide in the setting of objectives, most typically in a working environment primarily for employee performance and personal development, but can be used for making your Resolutions. The letters S and M usually mean specific and measurable. The A-R and T tend to change from person to person but the most common are achievable, relevant and time-bound.

So there you have it. SMART is all you need to remember when creating your resolutions. Here are some examples:

Eat 2-3 servings of fruit

Specific – Eat 2 pieces of fruit per day, not try to eat healthier.

Measurable – You can certainly measure whether or not you actually eat 2 pieces of fruit per day. You can’t measure…eat healthier.

Achievable – Make sure your resolutions are obtainable. I plan to walk for 30 minutes 3 days per week vs. I am going to run 10 miles per day, if you are a couch potato today.

Relevant – Typically something that will better you as a person or to learn a new desirable skill. Maybe you plan to travel to Spain and you want to learn some Spanish for the trip.

Time-Bound – Resolutions are generally something that you want to accomplish within the year, but they don’t have to be. For instance, you may create a resolution to organize the garage by June or create a budget by March and then review it monthly.

What are typical Success Rates of New Year’s Resolutions?

Also from wikipedia…”The most common reason for participants failing their New Years’ Resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% didn’t keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents claimed they made too many resolutions.[9]

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,[10] 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.[11]

So, if you are more apt to achieve a goal because you set a goal, isn’t that incentive enough to make your New Year’s Resolutions?

We have been making New Year’s Resolutions for well over 10 years. Doug contributes some of his behavior changes to them.

One of the 1st that Doug made was to drink 16 oz of water first thing in   the morning when he wakes up (check out our post titled Simple Ways to  Improve Your Hydration). This gives him 2 of his recommended 8 servings   per day before they day has really even started. Doug still does this today!

Note: If you do not meet the min daily requirements for water, start by increasing just 2 servings.

Do you remember your resolutions? For Doug, he adds a note to his monthly electronic calendar on the 1st of each month to review his resolutions. It is a great way to remind yourself of what you committed to do and still gives you plenty of time to make the necessary changes or take the necessary action to achieve your resolution.

We hope you have found this helpful and are ready to start a new tradition for the New Year. We hope your New Year’s Resolutions bring positive change to you as a person.

We wish everyone a Safe and Healthy New Year!

Enjoy the Journey!

Barbara and Doug

P.S. Please make sure you consult a doctor prior to starting a new exercise program or a new diet.

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