Making New Year’s Resolutions? Why?

The best resolution to make each year is one to not make any resolutions. Then see if you can keep it.

A new year, 2021, arrives at midnight Thursday and I haven’t made a single resolution for the New Year. Been too busy trying to survive the current one.

Already lost about 30 pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Floyd Fitness Center closed because of liability issues of trying to operate a gym during a widespread deadly virus, working up a sweat in close proximity to others hardly seems like a safe way to get fit.

A friend suggested this could be “the year to find Jesus.”

What? Didn’t even know he was missing.

Verywell Mind, an online resource for those seeking to improve mental health and find balance, surveyed its readers and found that a desire to make resolutions has increased in this viral year.

“People have had more time to reflect on their lives this year. A slower pace meant people could really step back and examine what is important to them. And for some, that may mean implementing some changes in the future,” says Amy Morin, LCSW, the editor-in-chief.

Verywell says 2020 “has brought physical and mental health into focus,” followed by dealing with friends and family relationships, giving more attention to skills and hobbies and money issues.

The concept of resolutions for a new year has been around for about 4,000 years. Ancient Babylonians, history says, were the first people to make New Years’s resolutions, which of course means they were also the first ones to break them.

In Babylon, the new year a not celebrated in January but in mid-March, when crops were planted. says the three most common New Year’s Resolutions are (1) exercise more, (2) lose weight and (3) get organized.

Most fail in even these most basic of intentions. The Journal of Clinical Psychology reports a study that shows that about 46 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions are successful.

I’m surprised the successful percentage is that high. Normally, the only resolution I make is to not make any resolutions. Then I screw up and make some, which are not kept, including the one to not make any.

Writing on, Daniel Wallen says most people fail to keep resolutions because “you know what you want but not why you want it.” People most often say they want to lose weight and get fit but are they doing so to become an example for their children, feel more confident in themselves, increase clarity or energy or…?

“Forget about any preconceived notions,” he says. Make your coals more specific and more”vivid in your imagination.” How? That, it seems, is up to you.

Or not.

Go ahead. Make some resolutions. Then forget about them. You will have a lot of company.


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1 thought on “Making New Year’s Resolutions? Why?”

  1. One of my favorite songs begins with, “It’s New Years Day—–just like the day before”. I personally think New Years is a good time to make resolutions about diet and exercise, but self reflection and improvement is never a bad thing. I am not unhealthy, but I tend to eat way more than I need between Thanksgiving and New Years (and I enjoy it immensely). A new year is a good time to get back to routines and a more normal diet, although I will miss the cookies, pies, and all the rest.

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