How About That New Year’s Resolution?

We are now into February, and if you are like me and most of the population, you have probably not had success in keeping your resolution.  Don’t feel bad, I do have the solution.

Where did this New Year’s Resolution idea originate?  After a bit of research, I found that New Year’s Resolutions have a religious origin dating back to the medieval era.  People reflected upon their wrongdoings over the past year and looked to change their lives in the New Year by making specific resolutions.  They would also seek and offer forgiveness.  Those are certainly not bad ideas and probably why the practice continues today.

I was interested to learn what the most popular resolutions are. The top ten are as follows:  Lose Weight; Get Organized; Spend Less; Save More Money; Enjoy Life to the Fullest; Stay Fit and Healthy; Learn Something Exciting; Quit Smoking; Help Others Follow Their Dreams; Fall in Love and Spend More Time with Family.  Those resolutions do sound like some great ideas to help a person improve one’s life.

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions, as many of us come to realize this time of year, is that few of us actually achieve our goals.  About forty percent of us make resolutions each year and the success rates vary.  Thirty nine percent of people in their twenties succeed in their resolutions, while people over the age of fifty only have a fourteen percent success rate.  These statistics indicate that we appear to be setting ourselves up for failure when we make New Year’s Resolutions.  So, what are we supposed to do?

There are many simple changes you can make at any time which will promote happiness and health.  They do not require a lot of money or time, just desire and motivation.  I shall list a few that might appeal to you.

1. – Reach Out and Touch Someone –Literally.   Physical contact is an automatic stress reliever.  Hugs and holding hands can be therapeutic for both of you.  A massage can actually boost your immune system and make you more content.

2. – Be giving.  Find ways to give to others.  Volunteering, spending time talking and listening to a person in need will make you feel better about your own situation.   You will soon realize that you can make a positive difference in the lives of others.

3. -Maintain Good Relationships with Family and Friends.  Do not neglect the important people in your life.  Give the time and make the effort to maintain regular visits and communications with those you love.  These are the people who will be there for you during life’s challenges.

4. -Get Out of Your Rut.  Do something different.  Challenge yourself.  Learn a new hobby such as knitting or painting.  Walk a different route. Shop in a different store.  Go on a mini vacation.  These are great ways to recharge your mind and body.  Research has shown that experiences make us happier than things.

5. – Nurture Your Spirituality.  Worshiping and socializing with your religious community can provide you with great comfort and peace of mind.  This community will also serve as a network for support and assistance in a crisis.

6. –Eat Right, Exercise Daily and Get Enough Sleep.  These are the crucial components to good health.  The more effort we put into accomplishing these tasks, the better we will be, physically and mentally.

7. – Enjoy Life. You need to have some play in your day.  Sharing fun times with family and friends who make you smile and laugh can add years to your life.

In conclusion, I would say, forget the New Year’s Resolutions.  I suggest we live life one day at a time.  Every morning we can resolve to do what it takes to make it the best day possible for ourselves and others.

Living life to the best of our abilities and taking good care of ourselves and other people will help to make the world a better place for everyone.