Out with the Old; In with the New
December 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Welcome to the new look lawsonhembree.wordpress.com! May I be one of the first to wish you a Happy New Year!
This is the time of the year when many people all over the world make a New Year’s Resolution. Some will join Charles Barkley in his quest to lose weight with Weight Watchers; others will strive to be more benevolent with their time or money; several will try to spend less time on Facebook or Twitter; and still others will try to read through the Bible.
However, these resolutions are not always achieved. According to research done by Stephen Shapiro and Opinion Corporation, of the 45% of Americans who usually set resolutions “only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions, 19% achieve their resolutions every other year, 49% have infrequent success, and 24% NEVER succeed and have failed on every resolution every year.”
Those are pretty discouraging stats. So, what are some ways to increase your chances of achieving your resolution? I have two quick suggestions:
- Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals:
This is a great acronym to help remember the components of an achievable goal! Every resolution you set should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. An example of a common non-S.M.A.R.T. New Year’s Resolution would be: “I am going to save more money.” The S.M.A.R.T. version of this goal would be: “I am going to save $10,000 by the end of the year by eating out less and following my budget.”
- Share your Goals:
Author Frank Ra once wrote: “Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in the success rate with New Year’s Resolutions.” If you’re setting a New Year’s Resolution, let others know that will hold you accountable and check up on you to see how you’re doing (feel free to leave your resolutions in the Comments and I’ll try check up on you).
Finally, whether you set resolutions or not, take some time to reflect on all the blessings that you do have. In the midst of the “out with the old; in with the new” mentality surrounding the beginning of a New Year, we often forget to look back and see the good things that we already have in our lives.
Perhaps the most interesting finding in Shapiro’s study was that “there is no correlation between happiness and resolution setting/success. People who achieve their resolutions every year are NO happier than those who do not set resolutions or who are unsuccessful in achieving them.”
As we enter a new year, I’d challenge you with this: Resolve and Reflect.
Happy New Year!
Learn It. Love It. Live It.
[image credit: BazaarBizarreSF on Flickr]