New Year’s Resolutions

JanusNew Year’s Resolutions… they are aspirational, yet often vague and almost always corrective. People promise to spend more time with family, get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, reduce debt, consume less alcohol… yet just end up cataloguing the failings of the past year. As with most customs, New Year’s Resolutions are observed in gesture only, not followed up nor followed through. It’s a reflexive act rather than one of resolution or commitment.

People have been making New Year’s Resolutions since the time of ancient Rome, when the Julian Calendar was adopted in 45 BC. January 1 was introduced as the first day of the year after the Roman God, Janus (pictured left). Janus was the God of beginnings and endings, represented with two faces looking toward the future as well as the past.

Romans, believing that the gods witnessed the failures and shortcomings of the past year made promises to rectify the situation in the next year ahead.

Not surprisingly, 88 percent of New Year’s Resolutions fail. One of the reasons is that people tend to make the same ones over and over and over again without conviction or belief they can really change. Statistically, it takes up to 10 attempts to change which is well beyond most people’s attention span let alone level of discipline to make the change a reality.

Alarmingly, research shows that 25% of 1 out of every 4 people give up in the first WEEK.

So why is the prognosis so poor? One reason is that success is limited, yet most people (wrongly) believe it is achievable (when statistically it’s not – only 1 person can win a Gold Medal amongst hundreds of competitors).

Take quitting smoking as an example: It takes 6 to 12 attempts to stop smoking. One survey in 2008 reported that only 11%, 1 out of 9, people who set that as a New Year’s Resolution achieved their goal and stopped smoking.

There is hope – people who did achieve their New Year’s Resolutions did so, on average after 6 attempts.

To achieve your New Year’s Resolutions, you need a plan, simple as that. Ideally, you write a PLEDGE to yourself and you marshall help from others close to you who can help you. For example, if you want to get fit, get a buddy to walk or run with you, play a sport… If you want to lose weight, have family members help by reducing fatty or high calorie foods.

Without a plan, it’s simple – put your list away because nothing’s going to change. The odds are stacked against you.

Of course as you’d expect, there is a way to stack the odds in your favour… CLICK HERE -> To Make Next Year Your Best Year Ever.

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1 Response to “New Year’s Resolutions”


  • I have a friend who refuses to make resolutions because she doesn’t want one more thing to fail at. I keep telling her that it is up to her in the end as to whether or not she keeps it. If she doesn’t want to fail, she doesn’t have to. She has all the power to choose a goal and a method of completing that goal that can be achieved. I find it sad that resolutions have such a bad stigma around them. I find them to be motivating and refreshing. Out with the old, and in with the new, I say!

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