New Year resolutions - broken yet?

2017-01-25 06:01

TWENTY-FIVE days into the new year – 25 days since many solemnly made their New Year’s Resolutions. According to various non-scientific surveys by this time fewer than five percent of those resolutions are still being kept.

Most common resolutions - lose weight, save or earn more money, quit smoking, spend more time with family, maintain a budget, find a better job, eat better, become more organised, exercise more, and become a better person.

Legend has it that the custom started in ancient Babylon when the new year was used to try to make amends for their wrongdoings of the past year.
New Year celebrations originated around 2000 BC in Mesopotamia. Using various events, the spring or autumn equinox, winter or summer solstice to determine the date when the year began. Other cultures soon followed in celebrating their humanly-devised “first day of the year”.

New Year celebrations included elaborate parties and merrymaking, as well as the custom of making resolutions for the year, and, depending on the culture, various gods were worshipped on that day and asked to bless the year.

Mark Twain defined New Year’s Day as the “accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual”. With a new start, there is hope to do things differently, even better. The Romans had a god for beginnings and endings – Janus (as in January) and they made vows to change.

Resolutions based on unrealistic expectations, which do not leave any wiggle room, are a setup for failure. Setting overly ambitious and restrictive goals is a major cause of failure.

Small, incremental lifestyle changes may feel less sexy, but they have a much greater chance of creating real change. According to Dr Roberta Anding, a registered dietician and nutrition professor at Baylor College of Medicine, moderating your resolutions could be the difference between giving up in February and creating a lasting lifestyle change.
Anding suggests increasing chances for long-term success by approaching goals as a “reset”.

While a resolution represents a firm decision to do or not do something, a reset is an opportunity to “set again,” or set your habits differently. With a reset, you commit to moderate, realistic goals and making small changes every day ? not just on 1 January.

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