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To Your Health: New Year's Resolutions

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In 2021, Finder, a data analytics firm, estimated over 188 million adult Americans–74% of the population—were determined to learn something new, make a lifestyle change, or set a personal goal in an effort to better themselves in 2021. Were you one of them? Did you abandon that goal by February of last year?

If you did give up on your new year’s resolution, you are not alone. The New York Post recently reported that a new poll of 2,000 Americans found that it takes just 32 days for the average person to finally break their resolutions — but 68% report giving up their resolutions even sooner than that.

One of the reasons people may not be successful is because they either make goals that aren’t specific enough (what does it mean to “get fit”?) or don’t have a plan to reach a specific goal. Jeff Haden, wrote in Inc. magazine that people are more likely to experience success if they focus on developing habits to achieve their goals. He suggests piggy-backing on existing habits, engineering your environment to help you succeed, and measuring your progress. Also, remember it’s not all or nothing. You can have a bad day without it being a deal breaker. Keep the focus on the long term.

All this month on “To Your Health” we will be providing ideas for resolutions, er, habits to start in January of 2022, or any time.

Sources:

New Year’s resolution statistics

https://nypost.com/2020/01/28/the-average-american-abandons-their-new-years-resolution-by-this-date/

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/a-study-of-800-million-activities-predicts-most-new-years-resolutions-will-be-abandoned-on-january-19-how-you-cancreate-new-habits-that-actually-stick.html

Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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