Those Annoying New Year’s Resolutions

By Eric G Braun, Senior Writer, USRW

We know you've been eating like a cow, skipping the gym and telling yourself that starting Jan 1st, 2017 you’re going to make that improvement that you have been putting off for years. Yes, my friends, it’s time for that New Year’s Resolution.  A starting point to make all things better again, for at least a week, maybe two if you're hard core and disciplined.

After that, only 8% of us stick to our plan. That’s a sad statistic--not even double digits.

Shame on us!

Approximately 75% of us stick to them for the first week, 46% of that sticks with it for at least six months. After that, we all find that perfect excuse.

Yes, I said us, I’m just as guilty. My intentions are good, but follow through just goes to hell and quickly. Most of us try to improve our health with diet and exercise. Gym memberships skyrocket at this time of year, and you will see the iron getting pumped and smell “Ben-Gay” in the locker room for all those who just used muscles that have been dormant and were sautéing in cholesterol.

No need to let the crowds get to you though, they won’t be back in a week. They will join the ranks of those who donate monthly to the gym, but never go.

To trace the history of this tradition forced upon us, we go back to Babylonians, who made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.

Forbes magazine spoke with psychologist Paul Marciano.  Dr. Marciano is the author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work, and he specializes in behavior modification and engagement. He offered seven behavior modifications that will help you succeed in keeping that resolution.

1)     Make your goals specific

2)     Measure Progress

3)     Share your goals with friends and family (shame factor)

4)     Be patient

5)     Schedule it into your day

6)     Something is better than nothing. (try that line with your spouse)

7)     Get up when you slip up.

The smart idea is to pick something you know you can be successful at and make small goals. If you can celebrate reaching a goal, you will be more motivated to keep going. Set realistic time frames. Make it a week at a time and reward yourself with a treat when you meet that goal. Then the next week is another goal, etc. When we make long term goals, the finish line may look too far away. Face it, we are an immediate gratification society.

Consider making changes other than just diet or exercise. Maybe being nicer to people, kicking a bad habit, getting back into church, and giving your dispatcher a gift. (non-explosive)

Ben Franklin said it best, “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them”.  Great advice, if you’re okay following the lead of a man who flew a kite in a lightning storm.

Oh yes, my resolution. I’m going to try to be nicer to my editor Nikki. She is the queen of red pens, but she keeps me on track.

What is your New Year’s Resolution Road Warriors?

All of us at U.S. Road Warriors wish you and your family a healthy, safe, and prosperous New Year.

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