Have you noticed all of the commercials that are trying to sell something based on New Year’s Resolutions (gym memberships, food, even plastic surgery)? I have been reflecting a lot on what makes us keep, or more often break, our resolutions. Studies estimate that 40-45% of Americans make resolutions, but only 12% achieve their goals. It’s not all that surprising to me- before 2010, I made at least 10 resolutions each year and always abandoned them within a short time. Last year was different though; focusing on one resolution worked for me.
Here are the top 5 reasons why these resolutions are sticking for me:
1. One month is long enough to make something a habit and establish a routine.
2. At the end of each month, I think about what resolution I’d like to pick for the next month. I love the idea of having 12 official days a year for self-reflection for creating the life I want to lead.
3. In the past, I’ve been overly ambitious with too many goals. Having one single focus each month is more manageable for me.
4. It has been really easy to get myself to workout for these past eight days, in large part due to the accountability I have by keeping a blog (thank you!).
5. Fun! I’ve had the most success with keeping my resolution when- shock!- it’s been enjoyable.
For years, I reveled in the post-Christmas opportunity of making my list of New Year’s Resolutions, revising it over and over- and of course, attempting to achieve my goals. It’s a bit amusing to me to think that I am most likely finished with New Years’ Resolutions in the traditional sense.
Auld Lang Syne, New Year’s Resolutions!