Around the world, people have been making resolutions for around four thousands of years! The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. Romans made promises to the god Janus, who January is named after, while Medieval knights made “peacock vows” once Christmas was over to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
‘Out with the old, in with the new’, as the saying goes. Unfortunately, as they are modifications to our behaviour, they’re often very, very hard to keep!
Did you know that a massive 88% of those who set New Year Resolutions break them, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning? There are two main ways to get around this difficulty:
Women succeed 10% more when they make their goals public and get support from their friends.
Resolutions are easier to keep when shared, both in terms of who you’ll share the benefits of your resolution with, and who you share the path of maintaining your resolution with. Support from friends, family and colleagues certainly makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions.
Men, on the other hand, manage to achieve their goals 22% more often when they set themselves a measurable target, such as, lose a pound a week, instead of “lose weight”.
When you set small goals, they are much more easily achieveable. A list of small goals, one after the other, enables you to take each step at a time, rather than trying to keep the determination on a year-long quest to “get fit”.
It’s easy for us to list our own resolutions but for school age children making and sticking to them can be more difficult.
Pre-school age children are the ones who may need a little help to learn some simple behaviours that will last them a lifetime. These are the sorts of resolutions they can make:
• I will brush my teeth twice a day
• I will wash my hands after going to the loo and before eating.
• I will tidy up my toys
• I will try not to argue with my brothers and sisters
• I will be kind to other children and to pets
• I will do my homework in time
• I will go to bed on time
• I will remember my manners and always say please and thank you
• I will drink more water and less fizzy pop
• I will tidy my bedroom and keep my clothes off the floor
• I will never give out personal information such as my name, address or telephone number on the Internet or to strangers
• I will be nice to other kids and especially friendly to children who need friends - like someone who is shy, or is new to my school
• I will make mum and dad a cup of tea once a week
• I will plant some bulbs in the garden this spring
• I will try to find a new sport or an activity that I like and do it at least three times a week!