I’ll answer first. I rarely make New Year’s resolutions because I cannot keep them. One year, a friend and I resolved to not eat meat for the entire month of January. I ate a hamburger on January 6th. Obviously, I have zero willpower.
How many times will you be asked within the next week about your New Year’s resolutions? Do you answer by saying you’re going to join a gym, eat less sugar, be nicer to your family, or volunteer more? You know that the gym will be super-crowded in January, but by February 1st, you should be able to get on your favorite treadmill whenever you choose. And that box of donuts in the office breakroom is inevitably going to be calling your name.
It’s not rocket science, it’s human nature.
According to Forbes Magazine, more than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions (that’s 7% more than Americans who watch the Super Bowl, in case you were wondering). Yet, research by the University of Scranton allows that only 8% of us actually succeed in achieving these goals.
Well, at least I’m in the 92nd percentile.
This year, I’m determined to improve my odds, and seriously think about making and keeping some New Year’s resolutions. Step one for me is to change the wording. I realize it’s all about semantics, but I’m choosing to set goals instead of making resolutions. I’m going to keep them simple, so I’m reluctantly taking world peace off the table. Instead, I’m setting a goal to sweep out my garage at least quarterly. (Aha! Now I have until March 31st to succeed!) My second goal is to do 30 minutes of yoga five days a week. And third, I’m going to be accountable about my goals, which is why I’m sharing them here. I suggest you do the same. Tell someone close to you, someone who will follow up with you, what you’re resolving to accomplish and by when. Then report back to that person periodically (or, better yet, ask him/her to check up on you). Putting it out there on social media is another way of keeping you on track, which is also why I’m telling you here and now.
To recap, these are the three steps that I’m going to implement in order to avoid my annual New Year’s resolution epic fail:
Step One: Label them “goals” instead of “resolutions.”
Step Two: Keep it simple.
Step Three: Tell somebody who will check in on your progress.
If you’re serious about this and want me to be your accountability partner, just let me know. I’m not exactly an award-winning nag (although my initials are NAG), but if you need me to be, I’ll do my best.
Finally, and having nothing to do with resolutions or goals, I want to take a moment to thank you all for reading my blogs this year. You have no idea how much your comments mean to me.
I wish you good health and joy in the New Year.