New Year, New Goals

by Melissa Brunner

Every year at this time, my thoughts turn to goals for the year ahead. I'm not sure you'd call it a formal "resolution," but I do resolve to do things better. And, every year, they sound about the same - be more positive, eat healthier, stick with my workouts. I may also throw in some concrete tasks I need to get done - clean out my closets and cupboards and clean my desk will be on that list this year!

I believe it's good to have goals. They motivate me to stay on task. However, the problem with the resolutions I make is that the "task" may not be clear. For example, when I registered for my first half-marathon, I was motivated to stay on task with my training because I had a clear mission. When I had the more general goal afterward of keeping up my workouts and training, I tended to let things slide a bit!

It seems I'm not alone in that realm. Statistics issued recently by the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology showed 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year's resolutions and another 17 percent infrequently make them. How many are successful in achieving their resolution? A mere 8 percent - though it should be noted that 49 percent have some measure of success.

The pessimists might take that information and say resolutions are pointless, but the resarchers do point out this: People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions. Given that piece of the puzzle, it would seem that simply stating your goal is the first step in making it happen.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I say here that I WILL clean out my closet this year! (I know my husband will approve of that one - especially since he is relagated to a single rod on the back corner while I take up the other 85 percent of the space!)  Feel free to ask me in May if I've reached my goal yet!

According to the article, here are the top 10 resolutions for 2014:

1. Lose weight

2. Getting organized (ie - my closet cleaning!)

3. Spend less, save more

4. Enjoy life to the fullest

5. Staying fit and healthy

6. Learn something exciting

7. Quit smoking

8. Help others in their dreams

9. Fall in love

10. Spend more time with family

Want to see some more fun facts from the University of Scranton researchers? Click here.


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