It takes hard work to keep resolutions

Kim Dunne

Keeping New Year's resolutions is often easier said then done.

Statistics show that 25 percent of New Year's resolutions will be abandoned in the first 15 weeks. Those who manage to make a resolution that lasts for six months or more have often tried five or six times before they finally succeed.

So why the hype over making, and keeping, a New Year's resolution?

“It makes you feel better about yourself to think that this could be the year you make a change,” Frankfort resident Jean Simmons said. “The new year brings a whole new possibility for change and improvement, especially if you slacked off at the end of last year.”

Not everyone agrees that New Year's resolutions are worth the hassle though.

“Why do you have to wait until the first of the year to make a change with yourself?” Herkimer resident Bob Turner said. “There's all this pressure to keep the resolution and then there's disappointment when it falls apart.”

Some of the top resolutions are as follows:

€ Spend more time with family and friends.

€ Exercise.

€ Lose weight.

€ Quit smoking.

€ Enjoy life more.

€ Quit drinking.

€ Get out of debt.

€ Learn something new.

€ Get a better job.

€ Get organized.

€ Help others.

€ Take a vacation.

€ Reduce stress.

“In my case I'd have to make a resolution to keep my resolution,” Frankfort resident Maria Malone said with a laugh. “I think it's great people want to make a change, but it can't happen unless you really want it.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers some tips on keeping this year's New Year's resolutions.

Be committed

“You must think through what you want to change and commit yourself to the long-term process it usually takes to achieve change,” Dr. Bernard Davidson of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. “You then need to come up with a realistic plan to help you reach your goals.”

Be prepared for setbacks

“Don't think of them as complete failures, don't dwell on them, and don't let them make you give up on your goals,” Davidson continued. “After a setback, try to get back on track to reach your objective. Plan ahead on how you'll deal with setbacks.”

Track the progress of the resolution

“Motivate yourself by celebrating your successes and by getting positive feedback from supportive family and friends,” Davidson said. “A good approach is to evaluate yourself every week or two weeks. However, don't over-monitor yourself by doing a self-assessment every day. That's just likely to end in frustration. Don't compare yourself to others. Accomplish your goal in a way that's best suited to you.”

A final tip offered is not to get frustrated if the resolution fails.

“Try again next year and you'll be better prepared to deal with some of the problems you had this year,” Davidson concluded.