This year’s going to be the one – the one where you learn belly dancing and teach yourself Spanish and start playing guitar again and stop eating ice cream for breakfast. Although every other year saw the weak trickling away of resolve, this year will be different: this year you have an attack plan.
In fact, a number of Turlockers have already made resolutions for this year. Heaven Lindsey-Burtch resolved to “book more shows and find a better job.”
According to Dr. Mike Evans, those who dedicated themselves entirely to starting New Year’s Resolutions on New Year’s were 10 times more successful than those who committed to resolutions later in the year. In fact, he found that after 6 months, 46 percent of those who made resolutions on New Year’s were still committed to their resolutions.
Dr. Evans is the founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital – so he’s got a lot of experience under his belt. If he believes you can do it, so should you.
Like Lindsey-Burtch, many locals are concerned with finding better jobs in the coming year. Amy McGinnis-Rodrigues vows “to make some final decisions” about her career path. Ryan Avey resolves to “finish [his] Master’s of Education, work more regularly” because he tutors and substitute teaches, and “give up cookies.”
Some resolutions aren’t so pleasantly cut-and-dry, however. Some are more broad, and involve completely overhauling a way of life.
“I have so many [resolutions],” said Angel Villagomez, “and they aren't really New Year’s resolutions as they are life resolutions, but I guess if I could summarize them all, it'd be this: I resolve to live my life according to my schedules, task lists, and creeds.”
In Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project,” she outlines various ways to keep these very same schedules and task lists. Her lists were inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s “Virtues Chart.” For this chart, Franklin found thirteen virtues he wanted to work on throughout the year and made a chart with the various virtues lined up with the days of the week. For days that he felt he’d properly demonstrated the virtues, he made a checkmark. Rubin elected to follow in his footsteps.
“So, inspired by recent science and by Ben Franklin’s method, I designed my own version of his scoring chart,” writes Rubin in “The Happiness Project,” “a kind of calendar on which I could record all my resolutions and give myself a daily [check] (good) or X (bad) for each resolution.”
Whatever it is you decide to do this year – whether it’s start a new job or start a new life, and whether you use schedules and checklists or not – just remember that now’s the time to do it. Have a happy New Year; here’s to an even better 2014.
To see all of Dr. Evans’s informative short, watch the video below: