While many may eventually ditch their resolutions, statistics show that setting goals is valuable.
Mark Twain put it succinctly: “New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, friendly calls and humbug resolutions.'' The tradition of New Year's Day resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians. They believed that what a person does on the first day of the New Year will affect what they do throughout the year.
Oscar Wilde wrote: “A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.'' It's true; statistics confirm that almost 97 percent of New Year's resolutions are never fulfilled. Even so, some 40 to 45 percent do use New Year's Day to make resolutions and set goals. While many may eventually ditch their resolutions, statistics show that setting goals is valuable. Research shows that 75 percent do make it past the first week; 46 percent make it past the six-month mark.
HUMBUG? MAYBE NOT
Fact: Those who make a meaningful resolution are more likely to achieve their goal than those who make no commitment at all.
Goals expert Michael York offers his explanation of failure: “The reasons are simple. Most people don't expect to keep a resolution while others don't know how to set and keep goals.''
Success is too important to be left to chance. It begins with a well-conceived plan. You will achieve more working towards goals with a simple but disciplined plan of action. By investing your efforts into a New Year’s resolution, you give yourself a launch pad for creating change in the New Year. So start your resolutions with a list; it's not too late.
When you review your list, be realistic and select just one resolution. Make sure it's the most important, because selecting more than one will just sidetrack you.
Now, focus on fulfillment. Convert your resolution into a plan for the entire year. Determine and accept its cost, and then decide how to pay it. Recognize the risk, effort and perseverance required. Make yourself accountable to someone just in case your determination weakens.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to make a resolution. Let’s see… what will be at the top of my New Year’s resolution list for 2011? Stay tuned!
Information taken from an article by Jack G. Hardy appearing in the MiamiHerald.