Opinion

EDITORIAL: New Year's resolutions face tough odds

The turn of the calendar is a good time to assess the year just past, make plans for the year ahead.

One way we try to make that process manageable is by making New Year’s resolutions.

For many, it’s almost a rite. For some, it’s trite.

At the very least, resolutions are good fodder for party conversations.

A recent study by the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology found losing weight to be the top New Year’s resolution for 2014, followed by getting organized, spending less, enjoying life and staying fit.

It’s almost become a cliché that gyms, weight rooms, running tracks and swimming pools report some of their busiest traffic in the first days and weeks of the new year as those who’ve set goals to become leaner, fitter, more active set out to make good.

But by February, more than a third of those resolutions will fall by the wayside. Only 46 per cent of resolutions will be maintained beyond six months.

And by the time we go through this exercise all over again for 2015, only eight per cent of those who made resolutions will have achieved them.

Not the best odds for success.

Setting goals gives us something to work toward. Achieving them gives us a sense of accomplishment and the encouragement to push on to new goals. They propel us forward.

Goals also hold us accountable. They force us to own our failings and, hopefully, learn from them.

It’s human nature, to want to know where we stand, to project where we might be headed.

To help you get there, here’s some tips to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Make a plan

2. Write it down

3. Don’t try to do too much too soon

4. Don’t get discouraged

5. Reward yourself

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