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Reasonable New Year's Resolutions

December 31, 2012 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Stephen Smith and Julie Adams work in mental health promotion and mental illness prevention at the Ministry of Health. Their business area’s goal is to enhance lifelong positive mental health and well-being in the home, school, workplace and community.

Thanks for blogging for us Stephen and Julie!

“I will volunteer more often.” “I will buy fewer pairs of shoes”. “I will eat less ice cream.” “I will exercise more.” Sound familiar? It’s the ghost of New Year’s Resolutions’ past coming back to haunt you; a reminder of the goals that weren’t met and the accomplishments only partially achieved. It’s trying to poke holes in your sense of self-esteem. Bah, humbug!

Hands up if you usually make a New Year’s resolution.

Now, hands up if you’re typically successful at keeping that resolution.

Odds are there were a lot fewer hands in the air that second time. A 2007 study showed that only 12% of people actually achieve their resolution goal, despite their best intentions. That ghost of New Year’s Resolutions’ past is clearly one busy spirit! To repeat, bah, humbug!

Why not try something new this year? Rather than setting a goal that’s unlikely to be met, try reflecting on some of the positive changes that have already been successfully implemented into your life.

Acknowledge these successes and how they have helped shape who you are. Celebrate the small (or big) things done each day that enhance your relationships with others, the things done to bring you joy, and the ways you contribute to improving the community, whether at home, work or globally. Likely most of these accomplishments didn’t require an arbitrary day on the calendar to inspire you.

If in the end the need is still there to make a resolution for 2013, resolve to do more of the good things you already do. That’s a resolution you may find easier to keep!

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