Thursday, January 1, 2009

Realistic Expectations and Resolutions

One of the high-frequency words this season is resolution. Change is another word that has seen its fair share of the red carpet. It turned out to be one of the most effective and used words of 2008. The Times article on the topic of change/resolutions makes a good point when it says: "“We’re hard-wired not to change quickly,” Dr. Jacobs said. “Think of what chaos would ensue if you could snap your finger and change instantly tomorrow. You would be one person today, someone else tomorrow.”"
Another bit says:
"In a season of change, in a year of change, most people who embark on a journey of self-renewal can expect anything but. Research shows that about 80 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day, according to Marti Hope Gonzales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota.

Such revelations will hardly come as a surprise to the repeat offenders and recidivists — that is, most of us — who year after year make, and break, the same resolutions."

Moral of the story, when making resolutions, the key ingredient of the pie is realism.

Read more here.

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Anonymous said...

Good article. Using Oprah as an example was right on, I thought. I don't get the whole resolution Spiel. I mean, self-improvement is great but it needs to be done in a moderate manner. We live in a fast-paced society, though where the change has to happen now and just so. Alas, there's not a lot of demand for moderation.

Sra said...

I think resolutions are great, simply because it's always a good idea to move toward bettering oneself. But, yeah, the key is realism. It's great if you want to lose a bunch of weight, say, but unless you come up with an achievable and realistic exercise and diet regimen, you are just setting yourself up for falling off the wagon and then beating yourself up about it.

Anonymous said...

That's the thing. Most people don't seem to be aware of their own natures and limitations when they set new year's goals. That's why they fail.

Anonymous said...

The word has sure gotten a lot of attention. It's the brad pitt or words, I guess.
But change is very tough for most people. I'm sure genes have sth to do with it, too. Some are less prone to change than others.
I tend to set expectations that are meet-able. That way, I get little disappointed and end up spending less at the shrink's.

Anonymous said...

I rarely keep mine. But it doesn't hurt to have a few.

Anonymous said...

Realism, indeed. Go for reachable target.

aflo said...

Yup, see this all the time. I love to lift and swim- have done it for years and every year I see the same pattern. The gym gets packed right after a new year (with lots of people wanting to loose weight, get in better shape, etc) and with every passing week one sees less and less people until after about 2-3 months you get pretty much back to the regulars. Go figure

Anonymous said...

People get farther and further by being realistic. But 'realism' is TOUGH!