Cassie Gibbs

Some years, I try to make and write down resolutions at the beginning of a New Year. Sometimes, I make resolutions in November and just wait to start working on them until the New Year.

Despite when I make resolutions, I can never seem to see them through a whole year. That probably says a lot about me as a person, but I thought I would look into the whole idea of resolutions.

I mean, do they actually work? When did resolutions become a thing?

First, the meaning of the word resolution is a bit simple for the work that goes in to keeping them. The definition states that resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

Simple enough, right? Clearly the dictionary has never experienced a mental breakdown while denying itself chocolate cake in an effort to cut back on sugar as part of a New Year’s resolution.

Last year, statista.com stated that the top three common New Year’s resolutions are to eat healthier, get more exercise and save money. I’m sure I’ve made those a few times before.

Other top common resolutions are to focus on self care, read more, make new friends, learn a new skill, get a new job and take up a new hobby.

What’s interesting though, according to statista.com, is that a large number of individuals stated that they would not be making any resolutions. This number is about as high as the number of individuals who set the top three common resolutions.

Those people are probably on to something because a New York Times article states that a survey found a third of people who make resolutions break them before February.

Those who took the survey said they had too many other things to do, or they were not “committed” to the resolutions.

The article states that the real problem was more likely that the resolution made reflected “a general desire” and should actually be a bit more specific.

Interesting. So, instead of setting a goal to lose weight, a person should be more specific about how much weight they need or want to lose.

Another New York Times article also states that resolutions should be measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Keeping these attributes in mind while setting resolutions should allow you to be more successful in keeping them.

Forbes has an article that also offers suggestions on how to keep your resolutions. It states that individuals should document their goals to create “a greater sense of motivation and accountability.”

A person should also reflect on the resolution’s importance, develop a strategy to keep the resolution, set a reasonable time frame for the resolution and make sure to keep track of progress along the way.

To go back to the weight-loss resolution, keep track of the weight lost. If you set a resolution to read more, how many books have you finished?

If those articles weren’t enough, CNN offers a unique take to making resolutions. Instead of having a yearlong resolution, maybe set a different resolution for each month.

For those who set resolutions this year, I hope you are able to keep them through until next year.

For those who did not set resolutions, I hope you still find something to work toward and accomplish all that you set out to do this year.

For everyone who reads this, I wish you all the best in the bright and shiny new year.

Cassie Gibbs is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at cgibbs@southeastsun.com.

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