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January 2, 2014
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Marla Smart: Top resolution statistics and how we can change them | Moms

Happy New Year! I know, I know – it’s the 2nd, but it’s still pretty new, yes? I’m sure you all have made a few New Year’s resolutions, and being that today is only day two, they are probably still going strong. Good for you!

I researched a little and found on Statistic Brain some resolution statistics for us all to ponder.

Here are the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Lose weight

2. Get organized

3. Spend less, save more

4. Enjoy life to the fullest

5. Stay fit and healthy

6. Learn something exciting

7. Quit smoking

8. Help others with their dreams

9.Fall in love

10.Spend more time with family

I’m sure we’ve all made at least a couple of these same goals. I know I have.

The results go on to list the percentages of people who make resolutions, the success rates based on age and the length they were maintained. I found that quite interesting.

75 percent of people maintain their goals through the first week, 71 percent through the first two weeks, 64 percent through the first month and 46 percent past six months.

It’s an old running joke with many people that we don’t stick to our resolutions. Why is that?

I have attempted so many years of resolutions. I’ve wanted to make changes and start the year with so many good intentions, only to fall off the bandwagon as early as the next day.

I’ve become so discouraged with one small slip that I scrap the whole plan altogether.

Those of you who are blessed with strong willpower and determination have my admiration.

It’s something I want to work on, this character flaw of an all-or-nothing attitude. I don’t expect that from my family, friends and students. I want them to learn from mistakes and do better next time.

I need to be OK with making a blunder and then continuing to pursue my goals.

I think there are a few reasons people like me are not part of that 46 percent who make it half of the year, and I believe there are ways to change these statistics.

We make grand plans with unrealistic goals, and then get discouraged by the lack of progress.

Maybe saying on January 1 that you will be wearing a size 2 swimsuit for your anniversary in June is a bit of a stretch. (Unless you are currently a size 4, then, go for it!)

Instead, look for ways to make smaller goals that work you toward the outcome you desire. Celebrate all those goals. “Baby steps” as Bob Wiley says in the movie “What About Bob?” (watch it).

We make vague goals.

In my opinion, vague goals are too subjective. You will settle for less than the goal and get lazy if you are not specific. Enjoying life to it’s fullest (number four) can mean a lot of things. What are some particular things that would fulfill your life? Saving to take a trip somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going might be a better plan.

We forget to gather emotional support.

You don’t have to keep your plans a secret. Accountability partners are great for this. Use your friend, child, husband or competitive sister-in-law to help you stay on track. Don’t be embarrassed to ask them for help when you need it.

We procrastinate.

You may want to do it, but it’s not going to happen unless you act on it. And don’t sabotage your efforts by providing distractions. If you make a goal to get organized (number two), “researching” on The Container Store website is not going to change the look of your linen closet.

We make too many resolutions.

It’s going to be overwhelming to try to work on so many things at once. What’s the biggest difference you want to see in you this year?

We desire change over improvement.

Our goals need to be realistic. We can’t quit all our old habits “cold turkey.” Statistically, the number one resolution is to lose weight. Remember, we have been told over and over: it’s lifestyle changes that make the weight stay off, not fad diets and quick schemes. Improving habits will make a difference that will stick with you longer.

OK, now go be inspired to live your resolutions this year. I know we can all make it into that group that passes the half-year mark. See you on the other side.

“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” -Cavett Robert


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The News-Review Updated Jan 22, 2014 05:09PM Published Jan 11, 2014 10:48AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.