You started 2018 on the right foot. You’ve made your New Year’s resolutions and you’re determined to stick to them. Now that January is almost over, are you keeping your resolutions? Have you broken some already?
The time-honored tradition of setting a New Year’s resolution is one most of us participate in, even when we know the most likely outcome. So what is the point of New Year’s resolutions when only eight percent of people keep them anyway? At first glance, the only surety of this personal commitment is that failure to follow through is the likely outcome. Maybe we’re looking at this the wrong way.
The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. The ancient Babylonians saw the New Year as an opportunity to swear vows to pay off debts and make good on other promises. This was a way to hopefully find favor with their Gods. Therefore, virtually every member of society would make these verbal commitments.
Fast forward to today and the New Year’s resolution has become an annual tradition in our culture. While it may no longer serve to satisfy the Gods, the New Year brings the essence of a new slate and a chance to recalibrate. Regardless of the resolution one commits to—whether it’s to quit smoking, exercise more, or reform eating habits—the desired outcome for most of us is the same. We want to improve life in the coming year.
Knowing the desire is to have a better lifestyle, shouldn’t a New Year’s resolution be an achievable personal goal, rather than a half-hearted resolve just to keep up with tradition?
It’s important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. The people who take this approach make up the 92 percent of Americans who fail to keep their resolution. The New Year is, however, a time to reflect on our past year’s behavior and renew our commitment to personal improvement.
Unhealthy lifestyles over time contribute to an overwhelming majority of chronic conditions in the United States that lead to higher healthcare costs, increased mortality rates, and ongoing complications in the healthcare system. Congestive heart failure (HF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are both chronic conditions that typically stem from overeating or poor diet, chronic smoking, or living a sedentary lifestyle.
Decrease your risk for these and other chronic conditions by periodically taking a personal inventory to determine where you need to set goals and improve. The New Year reminds us to do this at least once every year. If you haven’t set your goals for 2018, get started now.
Here are some tips that will help you set and keep meaningful resolutions:
Make 2018 the year that you achieve your New Year’s resolutions. Start with manageable goals that can be translated into actionable tasks. If you’ve set a realistic plan based on your goals, you’re guaranteed to feel proud of what you’ve accomplished by the end of the year.
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