Making New Year’s Resolutions is a great tradition which encourages one to make goals for themselves to improve their health and happiness. Unfortunately, many who make New Year’s  Resolutions don’t know how to complete them and achieve the goal they seek. Studies show that over 50% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions but that more than 60% fail them within 6 months of making them. Why is it that so many New Year’s Resolutions aren’t achieved and furthermore, how does one go about achieving them?

People fail New Year’s Resolutions for a great deal of different reasons. For many the issue is that their New Year’s Resolution is too vague. For example one might make the New Year’s Resolution that they want to be healthier instead of saying they want to cut 20 pounds by exercising 3 to 4 times a week. By being more specific one can hold themselves more accountable. People also fail their New Year’s Resolutions because they are unrealistic or out of their control. For example someone might make the New Year’s Resolution fix their marriage which for many different reasons might be either impossible, not practical, or otherwise out of their control (as it takes both partners' willingness to fix a marriage among other things for that to happen). Lastly, people tend to fail their New Year’s Resolutions because they don’t accurately gauge their progress. This occurs often in weight management when one might rationalize that they feel lighter but in actuality they are the same weight. If one makes New Year’s Resolutions which are specific, practical, and can be easily measured then one has a far greater likelihood of success.

Making the right New Year’s Resolution is also a challenge and an important one at that. Everybody has different goals that they need to set for themselves going into the New Year. For some it may be quitting an addiction or renewing an old friendship but I ask all of you to consider your spiritual lives going into the New Year. Maybe 2012 is the year to pray an auto rosary every day either on your way to work or on your way home from it. Perhaps this year marks a new chance to get involved in a Catholic Bible Study or start your own with some friends. One could even try reading the Catholic Bible or New Testament a little each day and get through the whole Bible in a year. These and many ideas could pay great dividends in your spiritual life and can all be very specific, practical, measurable, and, most importantly, instrumental in changing your life for the better. I encourage you to consider making a New Year’s Resolution which will benefit your soul and relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.

New Year’s Resolutions are a great and well respected tradition which has led many to a better life. Keeping a New Year’s Resolution could make a huge influence in your life in a positive way which will surely make your new year that much better. Best of luck on your New Year’s Resolution and remember that keeping it practical, specific, and measurable could make all the difference.

What is your New Year's Resolution this year?

Copyright 2011 Kathleen Wellman