I've been thinking a lot about New Year's resolutions. Since we are well into the third week of 2017, you might say I'm a little behind on this, or perhaps, early for next year. I've noticed that a lot of folks claim they don't make resolutions anymore. These might be the same people who have given up eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. Personally, I feel that's playing with fire.
I have, however, recently noticed new discussions on the whole idea of starting off the new year as if it were a clean slate. Resolutions are now called anything from aspirations to intentions but they mean the same thing. Whatever word we choose, people are focusing on making changes for the better. The new is old again.
Yes, the same people who touted the benefits of kale chips are now back to chocolate chips. Those who vowed never to have an iPhone are playing Rolling Sky in the grocery checkout line. The “new is old” is comforting and during these tumultuous times, we want hope and focus and success and above all, imaginary characters and games.
I'd like to help with some ideas for 2017. I did a little research into top resolutions and the success/failure factors. These can make or break your decision, so you can read on or just make a big pan of brownies.
The top three resolutions for 2017 are lose weight/eat healthier, work on self- improvement, and make better financial decisions. I think it’s pretty clear that if you have decided you need to work on any of these issues, then you just might just have a long history of sitting on the couch in your pajamas in the middle of the day, eating potato chips and calling in orders to QVC. Let's just change that in one swoop. It's not a path to success.
First off, research shows we can better attain our goals with specifics such as aiming to eliminate sugar and fried foods for six weeks, or setting aside $20 a week for the next six months. Now that sounds better, but I tend to make periodic withdrawals from my savings account in proportion with deposits.
Before you start cleaning out the fridge, counting loose change, or signing up for hot yoga, here are some cold, hard facts that might make you rethink things. Research shows that 72.6 percent of Americans maintain their resolutions through the first week. Jump ahead to six months and we are down to 44.8 percent.
But let's not be hasty in throwing in the towel. There are so many variables. Your goals are your own and very personal. For some it may be as simple as cutting out the skydiving. For others, that means learning another language in spite of flunking English. Aiming for something personal is not only a challenge, it can open doors to new endeavors, like parasailing, knitting, growing beets or taking a vacation to Northeast India.
Eliminating bad behaviors is not only good on its own, it leaves time to try all of these new and crazy adventures. And then it's almost a cumulative effect...running a mile a day turns into training for a 10K. Many lose 115 pounds in 31 days, color their hair blonde, and open their own fitness center. True success stories.
I happily made my resolutions for 2017 after a lot of deep thought. I really do think of my health so I've vowed to stop drinking pickle juice from the jar. I have a huge fear of needles but I'll consent to getting the flu shot every leap year.
And I'd really like to become a better person so I am no longer going to push my grocery cart into the back of the person lallygagging in front of me in stores.
Money issues are difficult. I guess you need to have money first and foremost. But I'm not really worried. I have 349 days to think about it.