SAN DIEGO, January 7, 2014 — The gradual descent of New York’s massive, celebratory, shimmering silver New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square is an annual spectacle to behold.
Enjoyed and viewed all over the world, it signifies the end of one year and the official beginning of the next.
This spellbinding annual tradition reaches the end of its climactic fall at the stroke of midnight, replete with cheers, screams, whistles, clangs, and high spirits by all onlookers.
For some, New Year’s is a time of great relief and signifies hope for a better future.
It is also a time when hopes and dreams could be transformed into determined New Year’s resolutions.
There is no doubting the plethora of walkers, runners, cyclists and more taking to the streets in record numbers at this time of year, sparked by an earnest determination for self-improvement and renewal.
New Year’s resolutions may also include becoming healthier, quitting smoking, improving eating habits, reducing alcohol consumption, starting a new job, returning to school, reducing stress and so much more.
Whatever positive change or possible opportunity desired or dreamt of, a New Year’s resolution is ready and waiting to be manifested by those who are most determined to change their lives for the better.
Only 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, and only 8% of those achieve success, according to statistics on brain.com, as sourced by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Psychology.
The following New Year’s resolutions are the most commonly made (percentages above 100% due to multiple resolutions):
-Self improvement or education resolutions–47%
-Weight reduction resolutions–38%
-Money related resolutions–34%
-Relationship related resolutions–31%
Only 14% of people over the age of 50 and 39% of those in their 20s attain their resolution goals, according to statistic brain.com.
Why then do so many New Year’s resolutions fail?
“Resolutions are a form of ‘cultural procrastination,’ an effort to reinvent oneself,” according to Professor Timothy Pychl, department of psychology, Carlton University in Canada, as published in the “Psychology Today” article “Wired for Success.”
Pychl continues to say that “people aren’t ready to change their habits, particularly their bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate.”
What can possibly be done to increase the achievement rate of this year’s New Year’s resolutions?
Treye Green offers the following suggestions for New Year’s resolution success in his article “How to keep New Year’s resolutions: 5 tips to make lasting changes in 2014,” published in ibtimes.com.
1. Make a vision board–see your vision clearly.
2. Use the buddy system–succeed with the right support.
3. Write it out–make a strong statement.
4. Hold yourself accountable–don’t settle for less than what is truly desired.
5. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey–if there is a misstep, go ahead and laugh, then restart immediately.
The year 2014 has just begun, holding its New Year promise for a better life.
Whatever the desired change or outcome for the future is wanted, it is entirely possible to set a determined, purposeful course for a new and improved you, and possibly for a better life ahead.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health.
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities” columnist since 2011, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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