AS I SEE IT: How to succeed in carrying out New Year’s Resolutions

Every end of the year as we enter the new year, we make our New Year’s resolutions. This is a practice by most of us, and even if we know that most of the time we fail to comply with it… we do it anyway!

We make our new year’s resolutions because a new year can be a great time to set intentions and look for ways to make positive changes in the months to come. Just remember to set realistic goals and things that are simple and reachable. Otherwise, we are doomed to fail in pursuing our New Year’s resolutions, since general and unreasonable intentions are difficult to comply with.

My friend former Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Prof. Angelito “Lito” Roldan now residing in California, in his feedback to my previous article on Christmas and New Year last week, said: “New resolutions have become a mere fad that carrying it out is lost as the months pass by.”

He might be right because most New Year’s resolutions fail, but despite this, we do it anyway! A study made in 2007, conducted by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people, showed that 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail. Well, if that is the case, why is there still a need for a New Year’s resolution? With almost everybody breaking their promises immediately after making them, and after jumping when the clock strikes 12 midnight of December 31, 2022 during the countdown: do we still have to make resolutions?

In real life, yes! Most people make their New Year’s resolution because it is crucial to our life. If we make one, we set a goal that we aspire to attain. On the other hand, if we do not – there is no direction – at all, in our life!

Gertrudis Estioko, a classroom teacher from the Urdaneta Central School (UCS) agreed that resolutions is a must for us to be able to set the direction of our future. “We just have to follow it to the letter,” she said.

While there are popular goals or resolutions people go for, to me, the most important, should be to keep the family together. If your family is one, united, and well-connected – maintain it by all means! If there is a lot of disconnections, dysfunctions, and misunderstandings – pick up the pieces and put them together.

The bottom line is,” Prof. Roldan said, “I think, is celebrating Christmas and New Year  with the family together in love and harmony.”

So, with that, let us make and nourish this year’s resolution to greater heights. Make the family the center of our heart, the center of our life, the center of our existence. In fact, make it the center of everything we do in life without any mental reservation!

In the same study, it showed that the most common reason for participants failing their New Year’s resolution was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% did not keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents, the study further showed, claimed they made too many resolutions.

As to success rate, the study mentioned better chances of achieving one’s resolutions when we engage in goal setting (a system where small measurable goals are being set, such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”); when we make our goals public and get support from our friends; and when we talk with a counselor about setting goals and New Year’s resolutions.

So, if only we can set up realistic goals, things that are attainable and easy to comply with… we may have a better success rate in accomplishing our resolutions!

But the reality is, with or without a New Year’s resolution, we can do many good things in our life. If we can set our New Year’s goals and can commit to these resolutions, our life will even be more meaningful… it will have a direction, there is a goal we can aim for and attain, as we live the New Year with a charted future!

I know a lot of people failed to comply with their resolutions because they said they forgot. Others say, “I’m busy.” My friends told me it’s because their resolutions are many, vague and general. Well, many also told me their resolutions were not measurable. Let’s make simple and concrete goals that we can easily comply.

Maybe, it can also help if we have somebody to remind us and keep us posted on what we should be doing to be able to make our resolutions come true. Come up with a checklist to make sure we don’t miss any. Or… there are so many of them that we can’t cope with.

So, whether we make our new year’s resolution or not, let’s face the New Year, embrace it, and let’s do it with the hope that it will help us for the better! And… don’t forget our traditions that go with the New Year. Know your roots! Make realistic goals and measurable endeavors!

Realistic and measurable resolutions give us directions and a clear path to success!

(ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments, email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.)

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