Posted by: mrpeatie | December 31, 2008

Those Pesky Resolutions

Have a safe and merry new year.

Have a safe and merry new year.

I ran a disk cleanup and defragged the hard drive on my work computer earlier this week. Everything is quicker, runs smoother, and opens faster. It’s like I’ve got a new machine. It got me thinking that this is very similar to what many of us try to do each New Years with resolutions, although it isn’t quite as easy as a few mouse clicks.

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s. I think it’s usually an over-hyped, overpriced hassle to go out and do much of anything. And being the skeptical, jaded person that I am, I shouldn’t think much of New Year’s resolutions either, but I actually like them and have been pretty successful over the last couple of years accomplishing some pretty big goals like buying my first home in 2005 and attaining my 1st degree black belt in 2007.

Approximately 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail. Most people are aware of this statistic, but it never ceases to amaze me how serious people take making their resolutions only to give up on them so quickly. It’s usually pretty easy to see why so many fail. One of the biggest reasons is that they are too vague and aren’t measurable. It’s great to make a resolution to eat healthier, work out more, or spend less money, but unless you can measure your success, you are doomed to fail. A better way to go about those popular resolutions would be to maybe set a max calorie intake per day, work out at least twice a week, or create a budget so you can verify you are spending less money.

Another big reason most resolutions fail is that there is no accountability. You are making this promise to yourself which often isn’t enough. A good best practice for serious resolutions is to write them down and send them to friends or family so they can keep you motivated. If you use Twitter a lot, tweet those resolutions out to your followers.

There are more detailed blog posts on the matter and if you are curious about the history of New Year’s and resolutions, you can learn more here.

Have a safe and merry new year.

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