I will freely admit, in my more cynical days, I used to be in the camp that New Year’s resolutions were a bunch of hooey! I hated going into the gym in January. I could never use the machines because of the wave of resolution renegades sweating out those holiday pounds on the equipment. I knew by February they would start to dissipate, and the gym would just collect their monthly memberships for the rest of the year without seeing them.
“What’s so special about the New Year? It’s just the next calendar date, not a clean slate!”
However, I was reading some interesting statistics that helped to changed my mind.
Did you know that only 24% of people never succeed on any part of their resolutions? About half of people have infrequent success and 8% achieve all their resolutions each year.
The top resolutions are:
- Self Improvement or Education Related
- Weight Related
- Money Related
- Relationship Related
So, even though the majority of the wave of “New Year, New Me!” people clogging up my favorite gym treadmill may fall away, a handfull of those people will stay and change their lives!
As a society, we almost seemed conditioned to focus on the negative. We look at the people who failed – and there is certainly a large percentage to point to – and say, “See, it doesn’t work anyway!”
Maybe It’s Time to Rethink Things
Yet, even if one person changes their life for the better, isn’t it worth it?
Yes, cynics may scoff at the New Year’s hype and think there’s nothing special about buying a new calendar. Yet, something about this time of year causes people to change for the better. If one person becomes a better human being because of the “New Year’s hype,” I say it’s worth it!
I don’t care what catalyst causes people to change their lives. As long as they do it!
So, join a former cynic in some self reflection. Yes, this is just a new day on a new calendar in a new year. Yes, many people won’t keep their New Year’s resolutions. Yes, this is a great time for advertisers to jump on the wave of consumer spending toward change.
However, before you get too pessimistic, remember that people who make explicit resolutions and write down SMART goals are ten times more likely to achieve them over people who kick back and laugh at all the people trying to change for the better. Really, which group do want to call home?
I’ll take the group with the ten times greater chance to become better!
So, let’s take the time to dream a bit this New Year.
If you were designing your life today, how would you want to live it? If you were given a pencil and someone said, “Write your perfect day,” what would it include? Picture your surroundings, imagine how you would feel, capture that emotion and hope. What you put down will give you a good idea of what you value. Crafting a life around your values is much more preferable than letting it happen and just accepting what comes. If you don’t actively write your story, someone else will!
Every single day, you can begin constructing that life – and you certainly don’t have to wait for the New Year. No one said getting there would be easy, but it’s nearly impossible if you don’t create that picture in your head and then write down actionable goals to bring you a little closer each day.
So my dear cynics, from a former fellow cynic, get out those pencils and write down those goals! It’s not too late! As you well know, any day can be the day to write resolutions that bring about explosive and amazing possibilities!
Here’s one of my favorite quotes, which applies perfectly to the New Year.
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
– Carl Bard
I’d love to hear some of your New Year’s resolutions! Share them with me in the comments below! Let’s make 2016 the time we look back on as the year positive change caught fire in our lives!