Do New Year’s resolutions work? How many of them are followed till the end of the year?
The three most popular New Year’s resolutions, according to studies, are to exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight.
Are those New Year’s resolutions pursed till the end of the year?
A recent study discussed in the U.S. National Library of Medicine website followed up more than a thousand participants who listed New Year’s resolutions for a year and found that “55 percent of responders considered themselves successful in sustaining their resolutions.”
“This study reveals that New Year’s resolutions can have lasting effects, even at a one-year follow-up,” the study said.
That is, if one’s resolutions are easy to follow, or if involves actions that do not demand radical changes in one’s lifestyle.
Take the three most common resolutions for example. Many of those who have tried to follow those goals say those need a lot of discipline to follow up, plus changes in one’s lifestyle. Exercising more needs an adjustment in one’s schedule, and in changing one’s priorities. Will you exercise or fix your room, or work on a project?
Eating healthier food needs clearing one’s ref and pantry, and then shopping for a new set of food stuff and condiments. And learning how to prepare a new menu.
The aim of the two resolutions is to lose weight. Failing to follow the first two resolutions will make one fail the third goal. That’s a lot of failure – and guilt — to face.
To avoid guilt and possible failure (again), why not make resolutions to make you feel good? Here are some suggestions:
1. Take a walk three times a week. That always gives a good feeling. That can be a short walk around your office, around your office’s parking lot, or to a convenience store a block away. You will likely want to walk longer, try that in a park or forest.
2. Call a friend instead of sending a text message once a week. There’s a new study that says an eight-minute call with a friend can do much to reconnect relationships.
3. Do random acts of kindness twice a week. Order an extra sandwich at the drive-thru and give it to the guard or to a kid begging for change. Order an extra drink or meal online and give that to the delivery rider.
4. Read a chapter of a book before you go to sleep every other night. The exercise will calm you and studies say reading will “flex your muscles” to focus. Multi-tasking is not possible while reading.
5. Volunteer. There are many NGOs and foundations involved in feeding malnourished children, assisting the elderly citizens, distributing aid packages, teaching new livelihood skills, and recently, teaching students who are lagging in class reading comprehension. Giving time to do volunteer work is guaranteed to make you feel good.
6. Be grateful and put that in writing! Before you sleep, write at least one thing to be thankful for. Writing it down is important for it puts words into the feeling of gratefulness. And you can read it again the next day.
7. De-clutter and clean your cabinets. If you have not used something for a year, then it’s time to give it to someone who can use it. Giving is rewarded by good feelings – a smile of appreciation from the recipient, and a song in the heart of the giver, plus extra space at home.
8. Resist the urge to buy something as a reward for a tough week or challenging project which you completed. That’s when buying things you do not need will be made.
9. Think green. Start by evaluating the use of things you buy for the house and for yourself. Absolutely, avoid buying single-use products with packaging that will add to our huge garbage. Plastic containers, sachets, plastic grocery bags – avoid them!
10. Watch a sunset once a month. Making time for a sunset can give a few surprises on what’s really important in your life. It will not matter if you catch a magnificent display of colors, or if you watch the sunset through a cloudy sky. It’s the thought that a day is coming to an end, another day will begin in a few hours, and the creator who makes this all happen.