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Okay, we are now officially into the exciting New Year of 2016. If you are like more than 52 percent of all Americans, you made yourself at least a few New Year’s Resolutions. Likewise, if you are like most of those who make such resolutions, you have already broken 36 percent of them. (It is somewhat encouraging that at least some of those promises will be kept by 46 percent of individuals past six months.)
The Stuff of Dreams and Aspirations
Researchers and academics have long studied dreams, aspirations, and yes, resolutions, to determine what role they play in our future development and success. While many people make fun of such resolutions, (we’re told at least 38 percent of us never make any such promises for the New Year), it is a surprising fact that people who make resolutions are shown to be ten times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t believe in setting such goals.
In which group do you find yourself? Interestingly, many different studies show we all share some common goals for ourselves, whether we do or do not believe in resolutions. Those common aspirations include:
- Getting in shape, losing weight and staying more healthy
- Saving more and spending less
- Getting organized
- Learning something new
- Stopping smoking
As you can see, these fit into the general categories of health, self-improvement, and money discipline. That’s a pretty encouraging reality as it shows we all pretty much want to be better at doing better and living better.
Poking Fun at a Serious Concept
As part of our human nature, we seem to need to make the idea of doing better a subject of humor. That helps us take a serious subject and deal with it in a light-hearted manner. After all, isn’t it better to say, “I’m going to lose some weight” instead of “Geez, I’ve gotten fat all of a sudden.” Or, perhaps, “I’m going to get better organized,” rather than “I can’t live in the middle of all this trash and disorder any longer.”
Yep, we never want to be seen as taking ourselves too seriously, even if there is some real value in the changes we need and want to make. That is the root justification behind such jokes as:
- My New Year’s Resolution seems to go in one year and out the other…
- Always remember you can reset your resolutions on January 14 (Orthodox New Year’s) and February 8th. After that, you’re on your own.
- This year I’m going to resolve to break my New Year’s Resolutions, that way I can’t lose!
The advent of social media has also made the New Year a favorite time to post tweets and posts that make you smile, such as this tweet: “Just a few more days til I can cross off "Don't die" from my 2014 #NewYearsResolution. Hopefully it goes better than my others.”
Just remember, part of the battle is deciding you want to change. Even if you slip, a solid New Year’s resolution can be a great first step to ending this year well ahead of where you started it.