I was only one week into this New Year and I’d already broken all the resolutions I had promised myself that THIS year I would keep. Actually I can’t even say I broke them…I hadn’t even STARTED on them! Okay, I’ll come clean…I recycled the resolutions I made last year…I’ve been doing that for a few years now. All my resolutions past, present and future have somehow always fallen by the wayside and what I planned as a year’s marathon of good intentions has me still stuck in the starting blocks…*sigh*…
But it would seem I am not alone. Apparently 40 – 45% of American (and Canadian) adults make one or more resolutions each year. Among the top New Year’s resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and wanting to stop smoking. Also popular are resolutions dealing with better money management / debt reduction.
The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:
– past the first week: 75%
– past 2 weeks: 71%
– after one month: 64%
– after 6 months: 46%
I don’t know what the stats are for making a resolution and breaking it within a week…*sigh*…
One of my favorite lines comes from Lucy Maude Montgomery’s classic “Anne of Green Gables” and describes how I feel at the start of every New Year:
“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
– Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
January 1st marks the promise of better things ahead. It is leaving the past behind and looking forward. It is reflectively asking oneself how you can change something that will improve yourself (either mentally, physically or spiritually) for the year ahead. It is a time to let go of unhealthy habits and grab hold of healthy ones. The idea is that when you make a resolution, your desire is to be in a different place at the end of the year (and beyond!) than you were at the beginning of the year.
If January 1st is the day of promise, January 2nd is the day of reality. With my resolutions broken my daily prayer begins again:
So far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that.
But, in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help.
While a lot of people who make New Year’s resolutions do break them, (in my case within a week…*sigh*…) research does show that making a resolution is still a very useful exercise. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions. According to statistics, those who keep their resolutions for “at least two years report an average of 14 slip ups or setbacks during that time”. These slips didn’t stop them from continuing to fulfill their resolution. I still don’t know what the stats are for slip ups during the very first week…*sigh*…
One thing I do know is that today is a new day, “fresh with no mistakes in it” and I resolve to try to keep it that way…
…but just in case… maybe I’ll just stay in bed…
Just kidding…*sigh*… 🙂