Happy New Year!

I’m one of those annoying folks who is guaranteed not to be hungover this morning, because I don’t drink. I’m not here to rub that in your face, however. I’m here to talk a little bit about resolutions, and the fact I don’t drink is related.

A bit less than half of Americans make new year’s resolutions. Only 8% are successful in achieving them. That’s a pretty abysmal success rate.

I used to think you only had two viable options with resolutions. Either go for it as hard as you can and achieve, or just say “Screw it, I’m good enough as I am.” If you decide to take the first option, I wrote some success tips last year that still hold true. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, here’s the TL,DR version:

  • Stick it out. The longer you maintain your resolution, the more likely you are to succeed.
  • Be a realist. The degree of change isn’t important. That you change is important.
  • One thing at a time. Pick one thing and work hard toward that one goal.
  • Tell others about it. You’re more likely to stick with a goal if you’re accountable, but you can also get support from others as well.
  • Fail small, recover quick. Don’t let minor failures sabotage you. Now is always the best time to recover.

There’s also a realistic third option – forget the time of year. Always try to improve yourself. For example, when I quit drinking, I did it in the fall of that year. I’m always trying to hit some new personal best in the gym. There’s almost always some personal project I’m working on – stop biting my nails, control your road rage, get more involved with real life and less with screens and social media, write more. But they go on no matter what the time of year. When they end, I just pick up another.

The time of year just doesn’t matter. Improve yourself no matter the season.

 

(Resolution statistics by the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2015. ) 

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