New Year’s resolutions: how to keep them?

Happy new year 2016!

Whether you love or hate them, we have to talk about New Year’s resolutions this time of year. It seems like everyone wants to know if you’re making any or not, and what they are if so.

There is a sense of newness, just after the holidays, as we begin another year – and why not try to start on a good note?

The idea of self-improvement has been common in many different eras and religions throughout history, and the tradition definitely continues today.

An Australian data website surveyed millions of people at the end of 2015 to see how well they’d respected their new year’s resolutions from the year before – and discovered some things that might help us keep ours.

Three-quarters of people found it difficult to stick to their goals. The survey found that we often neglect our resolutions when we promise too much, too soon.

“The most common reason for failing a resolution was setting impossible goals, with 35 percent of those who failed admitted their goals were too unrealistic. One in three (33 percent) said they didn’t keep track of their progress while almost one in four (23 percent) forgot about it. One in 10 people claimed they made too many resolutions.”

Lots of people make resolutions that are health-related. Among the most popular top ten resolutions are losing weight, getting fit and healthy, and quitting smoking. But others are about spending more time with family and helping others – a mix of personal and outward-facing goals.

If you’re taking the time to think about self-improvement in early 2016, remember: be patient with yourself. Set realistic goals, and not too many of them; and if you remember them in the first place, track how you’re doing throughout the year. You just might surprise yourself come next December!

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