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New year’s resolutions best achieved with smaller focus

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“I am going to lose 50 pounds this year.”

“I will study more this year.”

As the new year is right around the corner, millions of Americans find themselves setting goals and plans for the year ahead. People view the new year as a start fresh–a way to leave the disparities and troubles of the previous year in the dust.

To help fulfill their wishes of an improved year, New Year’s Resolutions are created, yet often  they are unfinished and forgotten. Yes, resolutions create instant gratification when thinking about new goals, but many resolution-makers struggle to actually carry them out.

New Year’s Resolutions continue to fail, yet they keep popping up in history. Over 4,000 years ago, these resolutions were created by the Babylonians and appeared once again in Ancient Rome. Now, in 2017, they remain just as evident. Their presence has not vanished, yet their success rate has. According to a study conducted on January 1, 2017 by studybrain.com, 41 percent of Americans set New Year’s resolutions. However, merely 9 percent actually carry out their resolution.

The real reason why Americans often set these goals for themselves is simple–goals to look forward to provide appeasement and fulfillment before they are even started. Resolutions do have their stories of failure, but on the other hand, they can work. The ones that often work are the realistic, smaller, attainable goals. For instance, a resolution of working out every day of the week is less likely to get completed than a resolution of working out twice a week.

Fastcompany.com suggests setting various small goals throughout the years. These smaller goals equate to a larger goal and prove to be more obtainable. Finding somebody else who has previously achieved the same goal allows for a connection. These two people can connect and share stories, advice and tips. The website also suggests finding the true reason why a person wants their resolution to be reached. Give a resolution a deep and thoughtful reason, rather than a shallow and empty reason. For example, a person should pledge to lose 20 pounds to benefit their health, not just because they want their body to change.

To some, these resolutions symbolize change and improvement. To others, they provide reassurance and gratification.  In the other camp, countless Americans don’t even make resolutions because they feel they are too busy or know they will be hard to obtain.

Even though many resolutions do not seem to make it through January, people make an attempt year after year. Unique resolutions that work more often than not include “learning something new” or “doing good deeds for others.” Although odds are that many will not be kept, there is still a hopeful sense of excitement thinking about how a new year brings new opportunity for change and growth.

So, as Americans gather for the holidays, they still will most likely be asked about their New Year’s resolutions. It continues to be just as much a part of our holiday traditions as decorating the house and opening gifts with family and friends.  

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