Column: Another year, another resolution: What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?
It's difficult to find anything more peculiar about the holiday season than the annual tradition of setting — then forgetting — a New Year's resolution.
Like the eager student who vows to study every waking moment at the beginning of the semester only to sell back their book at the end with just the first chapter highlighted, millions of people across the world set eager goals only to realize a year later they failed.
Be it losing that 10 pounds you gained five years ago, giving up that bad habit, learning a new skill, or maybe a less self-focused goal such as volunteering more there is a good chance that by the time the snow melts you'll be back to your old ways.
There have been several studies, publications, and reports on why most of us fail to achieve these self-imposed goals aimed at improving our life. Despite these, the end result usually is the same.
Although we could see it as a failing point of humanity that we are unable to do accomplish something as simple as resisting the craving for a hamburger, what the annual reminder of the New Year at least provides us a time to reflect on the year that was. I would be hard-pressed to tell you the last time I made a resolution and will pass again this year, instead I'll be looking back at 2012, the lessons learned, the unforgettable memories, and what changes to make in the new year and beyond.
For those setting a goal, Ann Arbor-based organizational psychologist and executive coach Robert Pasick recommends the following:
- Set reasonable and measurable goals
- Measure your progress on a daily basis
- Use a buddy system to work with somebody else to be sure both of you achieve your goals
- Celebrate and reward success
- If you fall off the wagon, get back up and keep going — don't quit
- Remember, it's good to set New Year's resolutions, you're far more likely to succeed than someone who does not even bother
What is your resolution for 2013?