What is a New Years Resolution?

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It's hard to stick to New Year's resolutions but not impossible
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A New Year's resolution is a statement of your intentions

What is a New Yearís Resolution? Some would say a recipe for disaster.

When determined to turn over a new leaf, many people make resolutions on the last day of the year, which are to be implemented on the first day of the New Year. Resolutions run the gamut from losing weight to quitting smoking to getting promoted or married or taking a trip to some exotic foreign country.

Resolutions are good, particularly if you keep them.

If you donít, do not beat yourself up, too much, anyway. At least you tried.

January 1, of any year, is the prime time to begin new and healthier practices. The first day of the year is a milestone. Having survived (or perhaps thrived) in the previous year, you can start afresh and forget all of the nonsense that occurred in the preceding year. This is a new and clean slate.

When a person makes a resolution, whether privately, or publicly he is committing himself to achieve a specific goal. A resolution is your way of announcing your intentions. Just donít set unattainable goals because that is going to set you up for failure. 

Itís good to have goals and it is terrific when you achieve them. Bravo! Writing down your resolutions or announcing them may be a good way to keep yourself on track because the written note is a reminder to yourself and a public declaration is letting everyone else know what you intend to do this year. Of course, if you cheat, fall off the wagon or altogether fail those in the know are going to give you a hard time. Be prepared for that. Itís human nature.

The concept of New Yearís resolutions can be linked to other religious traditions. During the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah and throughout the High Holidays which lead-up to Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement, individual thinks about the things that they have done during the proceeding year which werenít admirable. They seek forgiveness and offer forgiveness. Christians have Lent, which is a time preceding Easter, and during which they make sacrifices. Whatever the religion, the gist is that you are intending to improve your behavior.

One joke is that the best New Yearís resolution to make is none at all. It is far-reaching and ambitious to make a resolution and actually stick to it, but many people do. They can tell you precisely what day (January 1, 2012) that they stopped smoking or drinking.

If you donít follow through on your New Yearís Resolution, itís not the end of the world. You can make resolutions any time of the year. Whether anyone has to know about this is up to you. In fact, it might be easier to keep it to yourself because you are the one you are trying to please and donít need anyone riding herd on you. 

Because you ARE thinking about New Yearís resolutions means this you are aware there is room for improvement in your life and thatís insightful and a positive move. You may be concerned about your health or your marriage or your financial situation, or you may desire to own a pet or a boat or grow your hair long. Whatever your goal, be rational. Donít get carried away and set goals that you canít possibly achieve.

Itís not going to be easy but you know that going in. Gird your loins.

If you fail, you can always try again. There is no ironclad rule stating that resolutions can only be made on the first day of the year.

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