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Should We Make New Year's Resolutions?

Check out some statistics and weigh in on those yearly commitments to achieve goals or reform bad habits.

You've had a week to recover from Christmas and think about the year ahead. Have you made any resolutions for 2013 or do you steer clear of do-or-die, once-a-year goal setting?

What began as a tradition of performing simple, good deeds, according to 43Things.com, has become a modern-day practice of resolving to break bad habits, such as smoking, or eat healthier and exercise, or get out of debt—all tasks that are "easier said than done," according to some experts. After all, "The best laid plans o' mice and men [often go astray]," as Poet Robert Burns wrote in the ever-popular Auld Lang Syne.

Maybe we should resolve to stop making New Year's resolutions. Of the 45 percent of Americans who usually make resolutions and the 17 percent who infrequently do, only 46 percent maintain them past six months. While only 8 percent are successful in achieving their resolutions, according to Statistic Brain, 49 percent report infrequent successes and 24 percent say they never succeed or fail on their resolutions each year.

Setting more realistic and specific resolutions is key, along with sharing your goals with others who will hold you accountable and setting measurable landmarks and deadlines, according to WebMD

Do you make New Year's resolutions? If so, what are they this year? If not, why? Tell us in the comments below.


 Top 10 New Year's Resolutions of 2012, Statistic Brain 1. Lose Weight 2. Getting Organized 3. Spend Less, Save More 4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest 5. Staying Fit and Healthy 6. Learn Something Exciting 7. Quit Smoking 8. Help Others in Their Dreams 9. Fall in Love 10. Spend More Time with Family
Bruce M January 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM
FYI - The paraphrase of the quote from a Robert Burns poem is actually from "To a Mouse...", not Auld Lang Syne.
Steve Phillps January 01, 2013 at 06:42 PM
A New Years Resolution is Hope that something in your life will change or improve. It gives everyone a chance to notice things about themselves they might want to improve. We should all take a moment today and think of the good in ourselves and of the positive things we have done the past year. Think about the good in others and Hope to overlook the bad in others. Always remember no one is perfect but we all think we are.
Always an Emerson girl! January 02, 2013 at 02:16 AM
"Should" we? That's a personal decision. As for myself, if I waited a whole year to make a resolution I'd be in a world of trouble. I try to daily review and reflect to make my life and the lives of those around me better. A 'New Years Resolution', nah. Absolutely not. At any rate, to those who do and those who don't: HAPPY NEW YEAR! And to Steve Phillips: I don't know a single person who thinks he/she is perfect. Maybe you should not generalize and speak only for yourself.
Tina wilkins January 02, 2013 at 12:50 PM
I don't think a new year is required to make a change. All you need is this moment forward with a resolve to make something in your life better. If someone needs a calendar to help them resolve, so be it. If only a few succeed, then that ts a few more who have improved their lives. It's like placing washed up sand dollars back in the ocean. You can't reach them all but to the few, it was life changing.
Ann Wallace Litrel January 02, 2013 at 12:56 PM
I agree with Tina - every day is a fresh start - not just New Year's! Lots of times in my life I have taken a big running jump at some new effort, and stumbled badly. New Year's resolutions are the official moment to dust ourselves off, look at what we learned, and try, try again! That being said, I refer back to Statement # 1 - every day is a fresh start : )

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