About 24-30 million resolutions will be made for the new calendar year 2017. An estimated 10% will not come true, according to University of Scranton Psychology Professor John C. Norcross.
Some people will pledge to stop smoking, drinking, swearing, lifestyle issues that coaches and health experts are busy coercing their clients to start and hopefully accomplish by December 31. Others have pledged to find themselves a mate, get married, get a better job, promotion, or have a child, get a house or a car, acquisitions that will enhance or provide them with comfort, happiness or joy.
Millions of people are confident their resolutions will become a reality before the year ends. This yearly ritual is so real to some people that past failures vanish from sight on January 1, each year. Their sole intention is to make that yearly pledge whether or not they achieve their goals. That’s what resolutions are-goals set by a person or organization to achieve within a stipulated time period.
Most people who make resolutions ignore some realities that otherwise would have given them second thoughts about what they are asking for or pledging to do. For example, when it comes to lifestyle changes, they are all about habits, and bad ones, too.
Dr. Susan Weinchenk, writing in the magazine Psychology Today, says there are a number of scientific reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t work for the following reasons.
- Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not hard to change habits IF you do so based on science.
- To change a new habit you essentially have to create a new one, so whether you are changing an existing habit or creating a new one, the “scientific” method for doing so is the same.
- You have already created literally HUNDREDS of habits that you have now, and you don’t even remember how they got started, so creating habits can’t be that hard or you wouldn’t have so many of them!
If anyone is serious about changing a habit, they have to create new ones by “picking a small action; attaching the new action to a previous habit; make the new action EASY to do for at least the first week.”
This may sound easy, but it’s hard to do, which makes these resolutions harder to attain, yet so easy to make. Studies have shown interests in health and lifestyle activities usually surge in January, but afterwards there’s a steady decline in subsequent months. It’s not far-fetched idea that by the end of January, a significant number of people would have already forgot the resolutions they made at the beginning of the month.
For many people, New Year resolutions are merely “wishful thinking,” while for others it’s just being part of the crowd that engages in this annual exercise. This makes the practice of making resolutions frivolous and not something to be taken seriously. A goal of any kind requires hard work and discipline to achieve; for the small minority who realise their dreams, kudos to them and may they be the examples that the vast majority needs to emulate.
But here’s another interesting dimension to New Year resolutions. Christianity Today says that “Overall, 57 percent of Americans report making health-related New Year’s resolutions in the past, while 52 percent say they’ve addressed their relationship with God. Those are the top two responses in a LifeWay survey of 1,000 Americans.”
“We don’t hear a lot of talk about it, but a relationship with God is still something people want,” said LifeWay Research vice president Scott McConnell.
A high number of Americans are looking to God as part of their New Year resolutions. The figures for Canadians are not available, but this sends a message that people are looking for meaningful changes in their lives. It’s not just about house, cars, marriage, smoking or drinking, there are millions of people who are seeking God. The Holy Bible says God is calling many people to repentance. Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Isn’t it the Great God of Heaven says in Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
People from all nations and tongues are heavily laden with the troubles and challenges of this world. No wonder they turn to making New Year resolutions, not knowing that their Creator YHWH, the God of the Universe is there to turn to at any time of the day or night. All they have to do is “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt 7:7). The vast majority of New Year resolutions this year will fail, but our God never fails.