New Year Resolutions: fate and implications

New year is a time when one in every two persons get motivated and incited to make a resolution. The reasons and issues behind these resolutions, their fate and implications are interesting.

A recent survey found that the top four of them are around HEALTH issues, and include:

  1. Getting into better shape by losing weight
  2. Eating healthy, or cutting down on diet, or starting a new diet regime
  3. Being regular with exercise such as going to the gym, starting regular walks or a game
  4. Stopping or reducing smoking or alcohol

The next few spots are occupied by issues related to work such as “I will work less hours”, or “return home early” or “spend more time with children”. Fairly lower down is the resolution of making more money!

It is equally interesting to note the fate of these resolutions. Around 80% are dropped or forgotten within a month by the time February comes in. Only 5% survive a year!

Despite the very short lives, and the promptness with which they find themselves dropped over the days and weeks, their apparent pointlessness however underscores an important point. We are indeed aware that we have been ignoring our health, quite cognizant of what we ought to have been doing all these days of the last year. There is also a desire to make amends and switch to a new healthy mode.

Psychologists studying the phenomenon of resolutions point out that they are usually “fragile” and made somewhat impulsively. Once broken, even by force of unavoidable circumstances, they are difficult to repair or restore, till perhaps the next new year!

Strategy, on the other hand, is less dramatic, and have a longer range. They are contemplated and set short and long-term results, such as losing 2 kilos of weight every month for 6 months. They involve goal-setting and not just focused on a particular behavior.

If you were one of those who had made a resolution 10 days ago, and feel it is cracking up, do not lose heart. Your goals remain important. Just spend a bit of time going cerebral and strategizing how to get there!


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