A New Year of Resolutions

Well, Christmas was a big hit at our house. Within 5 minutes all the gifts had been opened and my daughter proudly exclaimed “Christmas Day is over. I’d like to go watch Barney.” My husband and I tried desperately to get her to play with her new toys, but all she wanted to do is to watch her beloved purple and green dinosaur. We were a little disappointed. However, over the past several days since Christmas she has gotten more familiar with her newfound gifts, and that has made us happy, considering they do cost money!

So, what’s next on everyone’s agenda? Oh, yes, one more party to throw–New Year’s Eve! It’s our last hurrah, the last excuse to binge before we begin our new resolutions. Most of us have probably already made one resolution, and that’s to lose the pounds we’ve gained by eating our way through the holidays.

I guess I’ve been thinking a little bit about my New Year’s resolutions, too. It never fails; I make a list in my head each year that I inevitably never seem to follow through on. Of course I have good intentions. I start out on a positive note, and then my resolve starts to dwindle at the end until I can hardly remember what my resolutions even were to begin with. Sound familiar?

Well, I decree that this year is going to be different! At some point we all have to take some responsibility for our actions, right? So, why not now? It’s a new year. We can all have a fresh start. No more excuses or blaming our lack of resolve on our busy lifestyles. Let’s face the music and put some heart into our resolutions this year.

O.K., I’ll go first. Here’s my New Year’s Resolution list:

  1. Take personal time for Jesus
  2. Begin morning devotions with my children
  3. Drink more water
  4. Lose 15 pounds

 

Well, that’s my list. I figured I would try to keep it short and simple. Although I’m not so sure that putting it all into practice will be simple. It’s hard to break bad habits as we all know. So, what about you? Have you thought about any resolutions yet? If you’re having trouble deciding what your goals should be this year, here are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions from about.com.

  1. Spend more time with Family and Friends
  2. Fit in Fitness
  3. Tame the Bulge
  4. Quit Smoking
  5. Enjoy Life More
  6. Quit Drinking
  7. Get Out of Debt
  8. Learn Something New
  9. Help Others
  10. Get Organized

 

Perhaps this list will help motivate you in developing your own. How does a person achieve success once they have their plans laid out? An article entitled Tips for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Work also from about.com states these helpful tips for helping to stick with your goals.

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions; few of us keep them. In their article "If at First Your Don’t Succeed", Polivy and Herman cite statistics that:

  • 25% of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned in the first 15 weeks.
  • The average number of times a New Year’s resolution is made is 10.
  • Those who manage to make a resolution that lasts for 6 months or more have often tried 5 or 6 times before finally succeeding.
  • Many New Year’s resolutions are for health-related goals.

Three most important elements of a good resolution:
Goals, Goals, Goals!

Have appropriate expectations.

Setting the right goal is everything. Too often we set our expectations too high. The result is it is harder to meet them. This in turn can lead to increased discouragement, which can lead to less motivation in the future. One area people often set unrealistic goals for is weight loss.

Set a learning goal.

Set a goal to explore your need to make a health-related change, get the facts, find out what action steps are necessary, realistically assess the potential obstacles in your life to making these changes. Use this information to develop your own plan. We tend to be much more successful following through on plans we make than ones others make for us.

Focus on what you are going to do.

Too many health-related changes feel like deprivations. We are going to give up foods we like, stop smoking, and/or stop drinking. It is hard to maintain motivation for not doing things. It is more rewarding focusing on what we are going to do.

Make this the year you get it right.

Set appropriate expectations; learn what you need to do to be successful, focus on what you want to do.

Here’s to a healthy 2008! Happy New Year!