With the year, 2013, it seems like there should be some sort of special New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps it is intuition; perhaps it is premonition. Nevertheless, it seems that 2013 might be some sort of special and different year for everyone.
Nevertheless, let us look back and see some of the more common new year resolutions that many people have chosen throughout the ages.
According to About.com, the top resolutions are usually pertaining to time management, health and money.
According to USA.gov, the more popular resolutions involve similar items from above but also include benefiting others and the earth. It also has some more personal and in-depth resolutions such as “manage stress” and “volunteerism.”
Many other popular resolutions seem to follow a similar pattern. However how many of these resolutions are broken and how many are really followed? Unfortunately, there is not much data to find on how many individuals are actually following what New Year’s Resolutions they chose in a hazy, and sometimes alcoholic, moment before the ball drops in Times Square.
Interestingly enough, when we participate in this yearly tradition, we are in actuality, practicing a pagan ritual that dates back to the early Babylonians. At the start of each year, these ancient ancestors would promise their gods they would “pay their debts.” Romans then took up the ineffectual cause to worship their god of Janus (January) and pledge to particular feats; then Medieval knights would “reaffirm their commitment to chivalry” after each and every Christmas season.
Most goals and resolutions for the New Year always follows the same common path: health, finances, and family.
Well, this is really no secret. Many people usually spend hundreds of dollars on Christmas, eating their way into a size larger, and reflecting on the good times with friends and family they could have spent throughout the entire year.
In addition, many people fail in their goals to achieve these high expectations – usually in the first week, or month – and sometimes the first day. After all, how better to spend New Year’s Day than celebrating with a delectable dining experience, and since all the money has gone for presents, the handy dandy credit card comes in use once again to save (or charge) the day.
So how should one make and keep New Year’s Resolutions?
A common phrase that is frequently used in many other connotations: KISS or Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Instead of choosing resolutions that might be too hard to achieve, try simplifying the resolution into something more achievable. For example, nearly everyone selects to “loose weight” within the next year.
In the first place, that is too general and not enough detail, and secondly, it is also too hard a goal to achieve overnight. To many, they subconsciously think that loosing weight will automatically mean 50 or 100 pounds. Perhaps even more.
Remember KISS: Set smaller achievable goals such as, “I will loose 10 pounds this month by not eating sweets.” Perhaps the individual will loose even more than 10 but at least this might be a more achievable goal by taking small steps every day. It also sets a destination date whereas the individual can reach his/her goal and then “treat” themselves accordingly afterward.
Another common unreachable goal is to “get out of debt.” This is another high expectation that is commonly not completely thought out – expect in circumstances of million dollar lottery wins. For example, how much debt is there to pay off? How much income and other expenditures does the individual have? What emergencies will arise that will prevent in one way or another from obtaining this goal?
Perhaps a better goal to strive for would be, “I will be able to live without using a credit card for six months” or “I will have one card paid off by this time next year.”
Keeping simple and achievable goals while orchestrating the details will make a New Year’s Resolution more satisfactory and lessen the disappointment if one is not able to achieve success.
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