How Will You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2022?

Notepad with list for New Year's resolutions sits on a desk with a cup of coffee, a blue alarm clock, colorful rubberbands, and various colored markers.

Making a New Year's resolution offers the opportunity to acknowledge that we wish to make changes and improvements in various aspects of our lives. (Image: Constantine Johnny via Dreamstime)

A resolution is a formal decision made to do or not to do something. Many people follow the tradition at the beginning of making New Year’s resolutions with which they resolve to continue good practices, change undesired traits or behaviors, accomplish personal goals, or make other improvements to their lives or environment. 

Resolutions are many and varied. Some people plan to change a bad habit, with the intention to quit smoking or eat less junk food. Other people seek to implement positive practices, such as volunteering in their community or recycling more. 

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Woman throwing plastic bottle into recycle bin.
For some people, making New Year’s resolutions help them implement positive practices, such as recycling more. (Image: Noppon Kobpimai via Dreamstime)

Making New Year’s resolutions offers the opportunity to acknowledge that you wish to make changes and improvements in various aspects of your own life. However, the chances are that more than 90 percent of people will fail to achieve their wishes, with most having abandoned them by the end of January! 

You may be surprised to learn that the tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates back to 153 B.C. 

The month of January is named after Janus, a god of the early Roman empire. Janus had two faces — one looking forward to the future and one looking backward to the past.  

On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the New Year. The Romans saw the passing of the New Year as a symbolic time to make resolutions for the year ahead and forgive old enemies. 

The worship of Janus allowed Romans to ask for forgiveness for their wrongdoings in the previous year. 

How to ensure your New Year’s resolutions stick 

Half of all resolutions are said to fail, and it is easy to set unsuitable goals that could lead to poor follow-through when setting resolutions.  

In May 2021, Statista published New Year’s Resolution of Americans for 2021. Approximately half of Americans wanted to start 2021 by getting in shape. The most popular New Year’s resolution was “doing more exercise” or “improving my fitness.” Losing weight was also the New Year’s resolution for 48 percent of Americans. 

These New Year’s resolutions are all general and while laudable, could be too vague to succeed.  

So how to identify suitable solutions to improve your life? 

Pick the correct resolution

Set yourself a goal that is achievable and has meaning. Your resolution should also be obvious and relevant to you. 

Be SMART 

By using the SMART goal setting framework, it can help with crafting better plans.

Colorful wooden letters spell 'SMART,' the acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely goals.
The ‘SMART’ goal-setting framework can help you ensure your New Year’s resolution sticks. (Image: Weerapat Wattanapichayakul via Dreamstime)

SMART goals are:

  1. Specific — Articulate the resolution. 

2. Measurable — If possible, quantify the resolution. 

3. Attainable — Choose a goal within realistic reach. 

4. Relevant — Keep the resolution pertinent to your goals and priorities. 

5. Time-sensitive — Give a time frame to achieve the set goal. 

Some resolutions to help you in 2022 New Year’s Resolutions can be simple and positive. Goals can range from personal to professional. Here are some resolutions that you can consider for the upcoming new year 2022: 

1. Make new connections — Join a group you’re interested in or volunteer your time to an organization in need. 

2. Declutter your space — As the saying goes: “A clean home is a happy home.” 

3. Appreciate the finer things — Cultural activities, such as museums and galleries, inspire creativity and teach open-mindedness and tolerance. 

4. Spread kindness — Scientific research suggests that being kind makes you feel calmer, healthier, and happier, and it is also said to be contagious! 

Random acts of kindness can include: buying coffee for a homeless person, paying a stranger a nice compliment, or offering assistance to somebody in need, even if the moment is time-sensitive to your own needs.

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