Why do we make New Year’s resolutions year after year when very few of us stick to them? Baxton Property Management took a look at the phenomenon, and found most studies suggest that it’s perhaps a mixture of over-the-top optimism, and shooting too high.
When did The Resolve to Resolve Start?
New Year’s resolutions have been around since Babylonian times. As that was about 4,000 years ago, there’s no way to know how many kept their yearly promises to their gods to pay back debts and return borrowed items.
Later, the Romans swore to be good to their two-faced god, Janus, who they believed could look back on the past year and forward into the new one at the same time. The practice was incorporated into the watch night ceremony by the Christian Church, and continues today as a mark of people’s desire for new beginnings along with the New Year.
The Most Common Resolutions
Right up at the top of the list are a few standard resolutions: To lose weight, get fit, stop smoking, save money and learn something new are old favourites. Another one is to get organized and trending in recent years is the resolution to “be a better person”, a goal that’s hard to measure in terms of success or failure. There are even a number of people who make a very strange resolution: They resolve not to make New Year’s resolutions.
All these commitments have been made and broken several times by the same people who will make them again as we enter 2018. You needn’t feel lonely if you still haven’t dealt with your 2011 promises – there are plenty of us out there to keep you company. Because, sadly, only one in every 10 of us who start off the year with the best of intentions, end up succeeding in achieving their goals.
Smokers who threw out their cigarettes at 11.59pm are smoking along with the champagne that launches the year a minute or two later. And every January gyms and fitness centres are swamped with new memberships and two out of three of those aren’t used beyond the end of that month, if at all. There’s also a consumer rush on the tools that accompany the resolutions – sales soar on juicers, weight-loss supplements, self-help programmes, and aids for giving up smoking.
However, buying the tools doesn’t fix the problem. All the gadgets and training gear won’t do it for you – unless you actually use them. It won’t shift the numbers on the bathroom scale down, it’ll just lighten the load in your wallet.
How to Make your New Year Resolutions Work
According to statistics, every second person makes New Year resolutions. Only around 8 percent keep to them. Why? Studies indicate it is because they choose hard to reach goals, or because their resolutions are too vague.
Get organised: Sure thing, getting organised is probably one of the resolutions you’ve been tinkering with for years. But organization and planning are the chief ingredients for reaching a goal. It’s hard to reach a destination simply by saying you are going to reach it, when you don’t have a map to find your way.
Be realistic: Create milestones, and be specific in your goals. Want to change your diet? Determine what you want to change, and work towards bringing it about. If it’s a long-term habit you plan on breaking, like giving up buying take-outs, rather than axing your beefy burgers with dripping cheese using one short sharp blow, cut down to one a week, then one a month, and so on. Habits are hard to break, as our system has become accustomed to them. Perhaps that’s why statistics show older people have a far lower success rate with NY resolutions than those in their twenties. They’ve had the habit longer.
Be specific: The popular one about becoming a “better person” may seem positive and noble, but it raises a few questions: Why? Are you currently really that bad? How does one do that? And the really tough one: “What is a better person?” If you can answer the last question, you probably don’t need to resolve to become one. You probably already are – You just don’t know it yet.
Be kind to yourself: We’re all human and we all make mistakes, step off the path, or occasionally take a step backwards. If you slip back into bad habits, climb out of them again. One or two slips isn’t reason enough to abandon the resolution and start again on January 1, 2019.
Baxton Property Management in Hobart has made New Year’s resolutions it knows it can keep because it’s been keeping them for years. Baxton resolves to continue to provide top specialist service to rental property owners in 2018, by managing their properties, and to go on locating tenants and interacting with them on these owners’ behalf. Baxton will also continue passing on information and ideas of interest to rental owners and tenants in its regular blog. Visit Baxton’s website for more information.
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