The origins of making a New Year’s resolution are lost in the annuls of time. Some say it was started by The Romans who began each year by making promises to the god Janus; other say it started during the Medieval era when knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the festive season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry, the truth is we just don’t know but we do know that only about one in ten of us keep our resolutions for more than 30 days. Perhaps this is because we make unrealistic resolutions or they are not made with any real commitment.
You can probably guess the most common ones: lose weight, eat more health, quit smoking, do more exercise, learn a second language etc, indeed New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain. However psychologists have found we’re more likely to succeed if we break our resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based. They found that those who failed tended not to have a plan which made their resolution soon feel like a penance or huge mountain to climb.
Each January, roughly one in three of us resolve to better ourselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of those who have made a resolution stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found.
It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after the initial commitment but it’s not impossible, so this year be realistic, break your resolution down into smaller goals each with its own a short timeframe and you should find it far easier to stick with.
Good luck and here’s to your health!