Have you noticed how they are like boomerangs? They keep coming back – at least in my experience.
I was amazed to find so much information online about the origins of this tradition. According to Wikipedia Babylonians made promises to their Gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed items and pay their debts. I guess they didn’t have weight issues back then otherwise they would probably have been promising to start a weight loss/health and fitness regime as well!
During a recent clear out of old paperwork (I’m a terrible hoarder!) I came across a diary for the year 2000. Right at the back was a list of my resolutions for that year. I was shocked, firstly at how many there were and secondly at how many of them are still ‘unresolved’.
I can’t quite believe that I have made little or no progress in some areas of my life in 15 years. A salutary lesson if ever I needed one. The other thing I noticed is that they were mostly framed in the negative, such as stop doing this, don’t do that etc. There was little encouragement to do anything positive or set any goals and milestones. Maybe that’s why nothing changed. Luckily I’ve learned a lot since then about the human mind and will definitely be framing my resolutions differently this year.
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3000 people showed that men were 22% more likely to be successful if they set measureable goals and women were 10% more successful when they went public and involved friends and family. No surprises there. The other part of the study showed that 88% fail, despite 52% feeling confident at the beginning.
But, I’m not going to let that deter me. Stats can be interpreted in different ways and I choose to look at the positive and say that 12% of people are successful and there is no reason why we can’t all be one of them if we approach it in the right way.
I am going to take a lead from a guy I used to know. He was overweight but his resolutions were never about that. Every year he resolved to learn something new that interested him. One year he trained as a stage hypnotist. He had no intention of changing career but really enjoyed the experience.
So let’s all do it differently this year and resolve to expand our minds and seek out new experiences. What a wonderful way to improve our self esteem, and who knows maybe the stuff we don’t like will quietly go away.