As I sit here on New Year’s Day eating a piece of leftover coffee cake (thank you to Carmela), I reflect on the pressure we find ourselves in to set “resolutions”.
On New Year’s we feel obligated to “start over”, to reflect on what we’ve been through over the past year, etc.
This article is going to be very short and sweet. Yes, it’s New Year’s Day. Yes, it’s a “fresh” start that we are celebrating with thoughts of untold opportunities and limitless possibilities. But, guess what? Don’t forget that EVERY day is a fresh start. As a matter of fact, 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year is an opportunity for a “do over”.
Probably the most important thing I’ve learned over these past years working on the Time to Play project is that NOTHING holds us back EXCEPT ourselves. NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE TELLS YOU. Do you want it? Figure out the best way, at that very moment, to make steps to get it. Do you want it? Figure out what is your next best move…. AND DON’T GIVE UP.
Not to say there is no purpose in New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. I believe this celebration gives us hope and is a reminder and a time to spark us to think about our dreams and hopes.
BUT, I believe, (myself included), that many of us are creatures of habit. Many times we start out with great intentions and fall into the same old routine. I believe that, sometimes we “forget” to pursue something because priorities push us in a different direction. Sometimes we get caught up in the “day to day”, and our vision becomes so distant. Companies like Weight Watchers or the local gyms bet on it.
I found statistics (see below) that list those same old resolutions, the things we promise ourselves year after year. But, like I noted earlier, it’s definitely our thought pattern that is the difference between “making” a resolution to seeing it to fruition.
What to do?
This year – and this day — CAN be different.
It is time for YOU to make your resolutions or visions happen.
I tried to simplify setting a “wish list” that can enable us to reach those dreams. First, I’ve learned that whatever we dream can happen, and whatever we think can happen. What I’ve learned is that it is important to focus on that desire.
Although people may disagree, I believe we have to combine intentions and goals. I believe it’s important to trust and let things happen FOR you, BUT, I also am realistic. I will never be able to separate having faith and not being an active participant to set out a list of things that need to be accomplished, finding ways to make them happen, and crossing them off my list. I stand by the saying “God helps those who help themselves”.
My proposal – make it easy. For this, the first day of 2015, or ANY day you are ready to make a change, put a “Wish List” together. The most important way to start is to identify what really is important and what are those dreams that you see for yourself. Note: One of the most important things I’ve learned in the recent past is that, if it doesn’t feel right, that’s probably not the way you should be heading or the thing you should be doing. It might be helpful to keep this in mind while you are making your list.
Also, when you’re making your “wish list”, don’t forget, nothing is impossible.
No worries. No pressure. Remember, you have 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year to “start over”.
So, write down that list. Post it in the bathroom or on the refrigerator or someplace you are guaranteed to see it to keep it top of mind. I understand “life” gets in the way. Something happens and you can’t do what you had scheduled or it is hard to stay on track because there are so many distractions.
But, keep at it.
Look at that list every day.
Opportunities will “pop up” to make what seems impossible become possible. Keep aware. Look for opportunities to make these things on your list happen. And, make sure to update the list. Cross off what has been accomplished and add new “wishes” as you move forward. Seeing the progress is most gratifying and encouraging.
We are creatures of habit, but it is up to us to choose the habit in which we partake.
I wish you hope and many blessings for this year of 2015.
# # #
Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a not for profit organization with the intention to encourage others to enjoy life. Please see www.TimetoPlay.com for more information and resources.
New Years Resolution Statistics — Included here just for fun: Let’s break the cycle! Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics
|Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology|
|Research Date: 1.1.2014|
|Rank||Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014|
|3||Spend Less, Save More|
|4||Enjoy Life to the Fullest|
|5||Staying Fit and Healthy|
|6||Learn Something Exciting|
|8||Help Others in Their Dreams|
|9||Fall in Love|
|10||Spend More Time with Family|
|News Years Resolution Statistics||Data|
|Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions||45%|
|Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions||17%|
|Percent of Americans who absolutlely never make New Year’s Resolutions||38%|
|Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution||8%|
|Percent who have infrequent success||49%|
|Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year||24%|
|People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions|
|Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions)||Data|
|Self Improvement or education related resolutions||47%|
|Weight related resolutions||38%|
|Money related resolutions||34%|
|Relationship related resolutions||31%|
|Age Success Rates||Data|
|Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year||39%|
|Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year||14%|
|Length of Resolutions||Data|
|Resolution maintained through first week||75%|
|Past two weeks||71%|
|Past one month||64%|
|Past six months||46%|