Pledge the doable

Before you start making any rash promises, any New Year resolutions, let's look at the numbers.

Seventy-five per cent of resolutions will last the first week of January. Not surprising. But only 46 per cent make it past the six-month mark. Also not surprising.

The top 10 New Year resolutions are apparently losing weight, getting organised, spending less and saving more, enjoying life to the fullest, staying fit and healthy, learning something exciting like a language or music instrument, stopping smoking, helping others fulfil their dreams, fall in love and coming in at number 10; spending more time with the family.

One resolution was to “avoid resolution and consequently disappointment”. “More love, less hate” was an immeasurable afterthought.

An American university study also claims 39 per cent of people in their twenties will achieve their resolution, while only 14 per cent of people aged 50-plus will achieve theirs.

There are ways of ensuring a measure of success with a pledge. Choose one that you consider is “do-able or realistic.” Plan your resolution just as you would any other goal and don't forget your inspiration for doing it.

Like the arrival of a child is a good reason to give up smoking. You want to stay alive to enjoy the child, you want to redirect the money saved for enjoying the child; and you want to present a good role model.

Don't give up after setbacks because everyone makes mistakes. A few puffs of a cigarette is not failure, more a reminder of what you are trying to achieve. But make sure you have a strong support system or someone to hold you accountable. Choose a goal that really matters and don't take on too much too fast.


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