Four days into the new year, how many of you have stuck to the resolutions you made on January 1? I made an insignificant one on December 29 and broke it January 1, which is why I now proclaim 2013 to be resolution-free. At least this is my plan, but obviously not that of millions who still believe they will keep theirs throughout the year.
According to statisticbrain.com, of the forty-five percent who resolved to make a change in 2012, their top ten areas of focus were: “lose weight, get organized, spend less/save more, enjoy life to the fullest, stay fit and healthy, learn something exciting, quit smoking, help others with their dreams, fall in love and spend more time with family.” For people who set multiple goals, the category of “self-improvement or education” pulled in bigger percentages than becoming svelte, which, as a former educator, I think is terrific. However, it seems that whatever the end goal, most of us give up well before the year is over.
According to a news report Wednesday night, the majority of those who said they would lose weight kept their resolve until Valentine’s Day. Statisticbrain reports that eight percent of the people who made a resolution in 2012 were successful in accomplishing what they resolved to do. Bad news for Baby Boomers — thirty-nine percent of people in their twenties kept their resolutions compared to fourteen percent of people over fifty.
This time of year, the media focus most of their airtime/ink on advice from the experts on how to stick to our resolutions. Tips, such as “5 Strategies for Highly Effective Resolutions,” fill newscasts, blogs, and newspapers this week. Google has developed interactive tools that allow us to make public our resolutions and then help us find people who live near us who share the same goals and who might offer support.
In refusing to adopt resolutions I’m not saying I have no goals for this new year. I still have the same ones: write, write, write and not only finish my draft but refine it and send it around. However, my history of resolution-making and resolution-ignoring tells me I will accomplish my priorities without writing down a plan to do so and I’ll not necessarily complete anything else. Think about it. What’s the difference between December 31 and January 1? It’s not as if the change of date marks a significant transition in most of our lives. This makes it easy to keep doing what we’ve always done.
If we truly want something, if it’s very important, a genuine priority in our lives, the chances are good that we’ll work toward it. The areas of our lives that would be nice to change –without exerting too much effort — land on our lists of resolutions. So I’m giving myself permission to go forward as always, doing what I feel passionate about and ignoring everything else. It will save me hours of worry about sticking to a diet and organizing my work space.