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New Year's Resolutions

We are halfway through January so – show of hands – how many of you, who made a New Year’s resolution, are still staying the course? I guess January 1 is as good a date as any to make a life change but, personally, I like February 29. After all, if I am going for a do-over, I want 1 to 4 years to think about it. I mean, really, who wants all the guilt and regret over not sticking to their plan? The way I look at it, if I am not willing to change an undesireable habit on December 31, what makes me think I will be any more successful on January 1? This kind of psychology fascinates me though, so I investigated it a little further…


Well, it turns out, I was kind of wrong! According to Wikipedia: “At the end of the Great Depression, about a quarter of American adults formed New Year's resolutions. At the start of the 21st century, about 40% did. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, approximately 40% to 50% of Americans participated in the New Year's resolution tradition from the 1995 Epcot and 1985 Gallop Polls. A study found 46% of participants who made common New Year's resolutions (e.g. weight loss, exercise programs, quitting smoking) were likely to succeed, over ten times as among those deciding to make life changes at other times of the year. “ But the reason I said I was “kind of wrong” is because, apparently, we declined in our commitments over the next 12 years: “A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, wherein resolutions are made in terms of small and measurable goals (e.g., "lose a pound a week" rather than "lose weight").” The takeaway from this is “Think Small, Lose Big!”


What are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions anyway? (I will bet you can guess a few…) This list is from goskills.com:

  1. Exercise more

  2. Lose weight

  3. Get organized

  4. Learn a new skill or hobby

  5. Live life to the fullest

  6. Save more money / spend less money

  7. Quit smoking

  8. Spend more time with family and friends

  9. Travel more

  10. Read more!! (I added the embellishments here since this is a library blog after all)

As I mentioned, I am not big on New Year’s resolutions for myself but 2020 was so horrible, I decided 2021 was a good year to start something different. My resolution? Give up writing the library blog...and look how that worked out for me! I am so glad I don’t smoke.


If you did make a New Year’s resolution, I do hope you are successful in your efforts! Drop us a line and let us know how you are doing. In the meantime - stay safe, wear a mask and be kind to one another!!

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