New Years Eve is right around the corner. For many of us, that means it’s time to come up with yet another New Year’s resolution. Looking back on some of my most recent resolutions, I’m a complete and utter failure. Let’s see, there was the year I decided I was going to start running. There was the year I was going to stop procrastinating on schoolwork. One year I even claimed I was going to stop wasting money.
In case you’re curious, I ran for approximately the first three months of 2008, before going on spring break, never to run again. Procrastination has always been an obstacle for me, also true in 2009, the year I promised it would end. Wasting money? I went to the casino New Year’s Eve 2010 and didn’t leave until about 10:00 p.m. New Year’s Day. My resolution was immediately wiped out when that blackjack dealer turned over a blackjack on me.
The point I’m getting at is that New Year’s resolutions are tough to keep if you set the bar too high. According to Statistic Brain, I’m not alone in my failures to achieve my New Year’s Resolution. In fact, of the 45% of Americans who set resolutions, only 8% are successful in achieving their resolution. While it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who stops trying only a couple weeks into January, it’s somewhat alarming to know that so many people fail at trying to better themselves.
The point of coming up with a New Year’s resolution is to make life better. Whether it’s for your personal health, finances, or family, don’t we owe it to ourselves to live happier lives? With that, I give you some of the most declared New Year’s resolutions and tips to ensure you achieve your goals!
Get back in shape
If you take a quick glance at Facebook around New Year’s, you’re sure to find posts about people getting back into shape once the new year hits. Many people buy gym memberships, while others just go to the gym they’ve been paying for through the years. No matter the circumstance, the end result is usually the same – the person stops going to the gym. When I made my resolution to run, I made a conscious effort to go to the gym four times a week. Over the course of the first three months of my resolution, there was a steady decline in the number of gym-goers. The gym was absolutely packed for the first two or three months of the new year. However, the attendance fell until it was basically the same people, day in and day out.
Working out and getting back into shape is clearly a popular and healthy resolution. It’s also a difficult one to achieve. How can you make sure you don’t find yourself among the group of quitters? For starters, don’t set your goals too high. If you know you only have time to go to the gym three times a week, don’t set a goal of five times per week. Whether it’s your job, kids or outside factors, many people just don’t have the time to make a big commitment. If you start off with a reasonable goal, you’re much more likely to achieve that goal than to quit a couple weeks in.
It’s also important to remember that getting into shape includes more than just working out. You can begin to live a healthier lifestyle by watching your diet. Eating out on a consistent basis won’t help you achieve your goal, and it will hurt your wallet, too.
Who wouldn’t like to save some extra cash? Like getting back into shape, saving money is another tough resolution to accomplish. Why? Because people often set their sights on the end result instead of taking it step by step. For example, say you want to take a family vacation that costs $2,400. Instead of coming up with a plan on how to save the money, you randomly just save whatever extra cash ends up in your pocket at the end of the week. However, if you break it down, you’ll realize you only need to save $50 a week to reach your goal of $2,400 by the end of the year. Plan ahead and you’ll find that your financial goals are easier to obtain that you think.
This is another widely popular resolution. It could also be the most difficult when you consider how many people are addicted to cigarettes. There are different ways to fight this battle. Some people quit cold turkey, others use nicotine patches to reduce their need for nicotine in a drawn out process. Whichever way you determine is best for you, stick with it. Resolutions aren’t made to be easy. There will most likely be times that you don’t stick to your plan. It’s important to remember that just because you got a little bit off track, doesn’t mean your whole resolution is out the window. Put it behind you and move on.
Spend more time with family and friends
People make this resolution with the best intention, only to later find out that it’s not always possible. Family and friends don’t always live close by. Sometimes it takes a financial commitment to travel to see certain people, which is tough to do in times of economic hardship. Others are busy with their own lives, whether it’s with jobs or raising a family. This is hardly a resolution that can be accomplished by one person. It takes a complete group effort on everyone’s part to make this successful.
Enjoy life more
What’s wrong with this resolution? Well, can anyone tell me what it really means? If you enjoy smoking, does it mean you should smoke more? If you enjoy sitting on your couch watching TV but have no source of income, does it mean you should watch more TV? People enjoy life in all different sorts of ways, although some are more beneficial than others. If the way you enjoy life also negatively impacts you, shouldn’t you consider changing the way you enjoy life? Enjoying life is a broad statement. For me, I enjoy going on vacation. Does that mean I should take more vacations? Unfortunately, it doesn’t. The more vacations I take, the less I work. When I don’t work, I don’t get paid. When I don’t have money, I can’t pay bills. Do you see that chain of events? It’s not good. I’d recommend finding an alternate resolution, because this one can be taken too many different ways.
There you have it. The five resolutions I listed are some of the most popular ones year after year. What do they all have in common? More people fail at achieving them than actually succeed. However, with a little work here or there, you can achieve your goals.
What are some other New Year’s resolutions? How do you plan to accomplish your goals? Let us know in the comments section below!