Am I really the only one who still makes New Year’s resolutions?
Statistics say no; our friends say yes.
It’s my time to reflect in a balanced way. This year’s been a real roller-coaster of massive highs and desperate lows. I won’t go into detail. And if I don’t take the time to appreciate the good stuff, I might forget it and find myself thanking goodness the year’s over. That’s not right for me.
So this is how my yearly ritual goes…
Toast the old year:
– What’s been great, I’d want to do again or should continue to do.
– What’s not and I want to put behind me.
Toast the New Year:
– What I’ll continue to do, do more of or start doing.
– What I’ll stop doing.
Toast my friends. That’s the biggest toast of all.
That’s a fair bit of champagne and not just because I like it. There’s always a lot to be happy about, and sometimes a few tears.
With my resolutions, I don’t try to change too much, just a couple of small things and I write them in one of my notepads. I can see if I’ve kept my resolutions, most I have, so the ritual works for me.
This is what some of our friends said about resolutions:
‘I have given up making a resolutions!’
‘The main reason for not making resolutions is because it would always be the same one. Lose weight! Having had a lifelong battle to keep my weight down, I know my willpower comes when it comes. I have no control over that or the desire to eat cake!’
‘I need a few treats to lift the January blues, that aren’t laced with guilt or feelings of failure.’
‘I don’t make resolutions. I dread Christmas and New Year so look forward to getting on with my life once they are over. Bah humbug etc. I do quite a bit of thinking and planning for my business year end.’
‘I’ve found that cheating a little helps. There’s so much pressure at this time of year and I tend to want to indulge myself! The ‘cheat’ I’ve found works for me is to start my resolutions early, so I feel good going into Christmas and more balanced coming out. Then if I need a few treats to lift the January blues, they aren’t laced with guilt or feelings of failure. It really works!’
‘Resolutions don’t work. They are usually arbitrary and impose upon us 24/7, which makes them impossible to achieve. Goals or objectives work better because they’re not, so are less likely to be abandoned. They give more of a sense of achievement and can be measured.’
There’s a load of statistics about resolutions in the media:
- Somewhere between 4 and 7 out of 10 people in the UK make New Year’s resolutions.
- Most say they’ve failed in the past, with 2 out of 3 giving up in January.
- One survey found that more women will be making a resolution than men and more men report that they have been successful at keeping New Year’s resolutions, compared with women. No comment.
So lots of statistics saying we do them but mostly give up quickly. We didn’t talk to anyone else who’s making a resolution this year. Am I on my own?
Anyway, if you are thinking of making a New Year’s resolution, here are some tips:
- Everything in moderation – including resolutions. Be realistic with your list. Or have fun with it.
- Small changes make big improvements over a long time and little steps work best.
- Prepare in advance and try them out. What difference would they make? Why do you really want to do them? Would you change? What will you need to do? Over what time?
- Break resolutions down into achievable targets to aim for. You’re more likely to loose 30lb if you set out to loose 5lb for the next 6 months.
- Write resolutions down and share them with friends and family to give you extra support and to go back to them later.
- Discipline of some sort is always needed but be kind to yourself. So what if you make the odd slip up, you don’t have to give up. Keep trying.
- Reward yourself when you achieve your resolution and along the way. You deserve it.
- And it’s best to make them when you’re in the right mood. It doesn’t have to be on New Year’s Day, particularly if you’re hung-over.
I like to get in the mood by raising a glass to the people and moments that made me feel happy the year before.