I have made just one new year resolution this year – to give up junk food. In 2012 I ate way too much Maccas, chocolate bars and the like, and it showed on my waistline.
It seems I’m not alone. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology showed for Americans the top 10 New Year resolutions for 2012 were
- Lose Weight
- Getting Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Staying Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
How successful were people in achieving their resolutions? Research also published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology but in 2002 showed that after one week 75% were maintaining their resolution and after 6 months this had fallen to 46%. The really interesting thing is how this compared to those who hadn’t made resolutions but wanted change in their lives. After 6 months just 4% of this group were achieving the change they wanted compared to the 46% who made resolutions.
I have long thought New Year resolutions were a waste of time, but it appears I’m wrong. Researchers suggest that the difference between those making and not making resolutions was that while both had the desire for change, the resolution makers had made the decision to take action, then made and implemented strategies for achieving their resolution.
I hope they’re right. Last year, as I was chomping on a double cheeseburger or a chocolate bar, I repeatedly told myself I must stop doing this. Now however I have made a decision to act. Perhaps it is as simple as that.