Better Together

New Year's Resolutions

Resolutions 2019

We’ll start with the bad news…less than half the people who, with the very best of intentions set New Year’s resolutions, fail to keep them. Significantly less than half. 

The good news is that the majority does not have to rule in your own quest. And, even more importantly, resolutions that are kept, most often result in improved health: physically, mentally, spiritually and/or economically. 

People have had love/hate relationships with New Year’s resolutions dating back more than 4,000 years. In an early spring-time celebration called Akitu, ancient Babylonians made promises to the gods in what was seen as a forerunner to our modern day tradition. In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar set January 1st as the date to launch the official new year. Sacrifices were made to promise good behavior to the two-faced god Janus, who looked backwards to the previous year, and ahead to the new year. 

The goal-driven tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions is easy to understand. January 1 is a clean slate. Considered to be a temporal landmark, it is a significant a place in time (arguably THE significant place in time) that separates our past period from the present/future, creating a boundary and establishing a new situation. Temporal landmarks are motivating because, as Jeremy Anderberg wrote, they help you to close the book and start fresh, allowing you to see the big picture and motivate you towards achieving goals.

It’s not impossible, or even terribly difficult to become one of the select few who achieves their New Year’s resolutions, if you set them with these simple ideas in mind: 

  • Be a resolver. Studies show that people who make specific New Year’s resolutions (resolvers) are 10 times more effective in improving their lives after six months, as opposed to non-resolvers who are vague about making changes. 
  • When possible, design New Year’s resolutions that become an integral part of your routine. For instance, you wouldn’t start the day without brushing your teeth…It’s part of your routine. So, set your resolution, for instance to meditate daily, to something you automatically do before getting on with your day. 
  • Be very specific in your resolution-setting. Rather than saying “I’m going to lose some weight”, resolve to lose a tangible number of pounds. This way, you can experience and celebrate your progression towards something very non-ambiguous. 
  • Write your resolution(s) down and share it with family or friends. Having witnesses helps to make you accountable. If possible, have a partner or mentor, helping you along the way! 

Friendship Village residents are well-positioned to keep virtually any resolution they can conjure up…whether it’s for healthier eating (made easier through our fine dining program), fitness (by working out at our state-of-the-art fitness and aquatic center and participating in our abundant programming), spiritual wellness (through our religious groups, yoga, and meditation), intellectual growth (through our life-long learning initiatives) social engagement (by being surrounded by friends) and more…much much more. 

So...resolve sensibly and sustainably, and succeed. And most of all, have a happy, healthy New Year! 

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