So, it’s the second day of January . . . are you one of the many people who have scribbled down a list of resolutions for the next twelve months? A new year always seems to spur a resolve to make changes for the better. Some are really daunting ones—like” I’m going to lose weight” or “I’m going to be more organized.” (No matter that what we really want to resolve is to eat more chocolate. Hey—it’s good for us, right?)
We’re hardly the first who’ve felt the need to make such New Year’s resolution lists. Apparently there are records showing the Babylonians took such commitments seriously. Promising the gods that they would return borrowed items and pay their debts were popular pledges. In Medieval times, knights took the “Peacock Pledge” in December, whereby they promised to abide by the rules of chivalry for the coming year.
So, how do we do at succeeding at our resolutions? Alas, not very well, according to a study done several years ago, which reported 88% of people failed to live up to their list. But don’t despair! According to an article in the New York Times, the best way to succeed in a resolution is to have a specific, measurable goal–ie, deciding you want to lose ten pounds in order to look good for your college reunion rather than just simply saying you want to lose weight in 2017.
I have some things I’d like to write to the blank slate that is 2017—including finding more time for reading!—and while a don’t make a resolution list per se, I do have a checklist I keep looking at to remind me of goals. I think challenges are good and serve as motivation . . . as long as they maintain a healthy balance and encourage positive thoughts, not negative “I can’t do this” discouragement.
So what about you. Do you make a Resolution List? Any favorites you want to share?