New Year’s a time to test your resolve

Studies show that only about 12 per cent of people that make New Year’s resolutions actually attain their goal

New Year’s is a time for many things. There is the partying, to be sure, but it’s also a popular time to indulge in two other popular activities: publishing top-10 style lists and the infamous New Year’s resolutions.

Talk about a set up for failure. Trying to make a resolution to change your life for the better while intoxicated, on a sugar high from all the Christmas goodies, stressed out by the holiday season or a combination of all three. Small wonder that studies show that only about 12 per cent of people that make New Year’s resolutions actually attain their goal.

But let’s combine a couple of the New Year’s passions and look at lists of the most popular resolutions. It’s unlikely to come as any surprise that health and wellness-related resolutions are at the top of most lists. In fact, they are usually the top three or four: Losing weight, exercising more and even quitting smoking still makes it regularly to the top of the list.

The middle tier seems to revolve around lifestyle changes. Spend more time with friends and family, get out of debt or learn something new, that kind of thing. And getting organized — often the key to making any resolution work out.

Sadly though, helping others is most often near the bottom of the top-10 resolution lists. Sad, because incredible changes could arise if we all co-operated on a helping others type resolution. For instance, think about what would happen if we all resolved to increase our donations to the local food banks by just one dollar a month.

Easy enough to do, and guess what, if only a third of Penticton’s population followed through on it, roughly $120,000 more would be generated to help the food bank.

But even though the statistics show we are unlikely to follow through on our resolutions, we keep making them, hoping to shape a better life and a better world.