BY ASHLEY CURRIE
With 2012 now in the past and 2013 just beginning, many people find themselves starting over, including setting new goals for the year ahead. Making New Year’s resolutions is something millions of people do, but actually keeping them is a different story.
According to livescience.com (a website dedicated to providing health science and technology news for those with curious minds), about 20 per cent of people who set a New Year’s resolution revert back to their old habits within a month.
Serge Prengel, a licensed mental health counsellor, says on his website (proactivechange.com) that the number is actually upwards of 40 per cent, adding that more than 60 per cent of people break their New Year’s resolution by the six-month mark. However, not all hope is lost. Prengel says that just by firmly setting a resolution you are 10 times more likely to actually achieve your goal than those who do not set one.
Forbes.com has some tips for sticking to your resolution. They suggest being specific with your goal. Instead of saying you want to save money set a specific amount you want to save each month. They also suggest writing down your resolution and staying positive about your chances of succeeding. Furthermore, they say having a resolution partner and making time to actually complete the resolution are key ways to help yourself achieve your goal.
Some of the most popular resolutions include being healthier, saving money, losing weight, or quitting or reducing a bad habit such as smoking or drinking.
Yvonna Michalek, a 20-year-old student, says her resolutions this year are to eat better and be more honest with people.
“I work in a place with lots of unhealthy but quick food options so my resolution for this year is to try to eat better and avoid the pizza and poutine as much as possible,” she says. “I also want to try to be more honest with people and say what I’m feeling instead of hiding my thoughts or lying about what I think.”
Another thing to remember when setting a resolution is that if you slip up one day it doesn’t mean the whole goal should go in the trash. If you are trying to eat healthy and then you grab a Big Mac for lunch one day, just jump right back on the horse the next day. Keeping a New Year’s resolution is about forming a new good habit to replace a bad old one.
Andrew Jenkins is a 24-year-old student living in Guelph. He says he usually doesn’t keep his resolutions but last year he was actually successful.
“My resolution last year was to stop drinking Coke. It was small but specific and I managed to keep it. This year I’m trying to cut out root beer too,” he says. “Maybe by keeping a small goal like this each year, in a few more years I won’t be drinking pop at all.”