A New Year’s Resolution is defined as, “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.”
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
According to the Toronto Star, in 2012 approximately 68% of Canadians made a resolution. However, in 2011 only 19% of the people who made resolutions kept them for the whole year; 52% kept them for one month; 15% for one week and 19% less than 24 hours.
So why is it so hard to keep resolutions?
Is it a lack of will power? A lack of motivation? Or a lack of understanding of what you really want for yourself and why?
Perhaps a good way to gain an understanding of what motivates people to make resolutions is to understand where they originated.
Like most things in our society, resolutions have religious origins. The ancient Babylonians, the Romans, Medieval Knights, Christians and Jewish people all made vows to their Gods at the start of a New Year. These vows all differed, but were usually based around the ideas of self-improvement and repentance of the past year’s wrong doings. The Resolutions would help them reaffirm their commitment to themselves and their God.
January 1st became a symbolic day. The idea of starting the year off right appealed to many cultures over the years, so much so that we still do it today. We use the New Year as a time to take a personal inventory. We consider where we are in life, and where we’d like to be; Our resolution’s should be reflective of this inventory. The whole idea is that at the end of the year we’d like to be in a different place in our lives than we were at the start.
The idea of making a resolution can be exciting and exhilarating at first. If you resolve to lose weight or save money to buy a car, for example, you are probably already picturing yourself in your new skinny jeans or driving around in your new car. But sometimes we can get a little carried away. In order to stick to your resolution you’ll want to make your goals attainable. This will help ensure you don’t get frustrated and quit along the way (after all, we’d all like to be among the 19% who actually succeed, wouldn’t we?)
Let’s say your resolution is to save for a car. First you should go online and figure out how much the average car costs. Look up different makes, models and years and see how much they go for. Second, get a quote from an insurance company (because there’s no point in buying a car you can’t afford to insure it!). Then calculate how much money you’ll have to save each week. For instance, if the car you want is $1200 and the insurance for a year is $1500 then you will need $2700. If you save $56.25 a week you will have enough money by the end of the year to get your dream car. Therefore, this should become your New Year’s Resolution: “I resolve to save $56.25 a week”. This is an attainable goal that will get you where you want to be by the end of the year.
You can do this for any resolution. If you break it down into smaller, more attainable, weekly or daily goals it will keep you on track and focused to achieve your grander goal by the end of the year.
So what are the most popular New Year’s Resolutions for teens? Here’s www.about.com’s Top Ten List:
- Get healthy
- Get happier
- Be a better person
- Find love
- Show more love to your family
- Be a better friend
- Get better in school
- Learn something new
- Be a role model
- Make some money
No matter what your resolutions are, just remember to think it through carefully. Decide what you really want for yourself over the next year, think about the best ways to get there, and then pick a resolution that will help you attain that goal.
Good luck and all the best in 2014!