The history of making New Years Resolutions dates back to the ancient Babylonians who made wishes every year to their Gods to return things borrowed and pay their debts. It is estimated that half of Americans make a resolution each year.

The most common resolutions are the expected ones such as weight reduction, an increase in exercise, and quitting smoking. However a 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol, revealed that 88% of those who make New Years resolutions are unable to keep them.

I am not a fan of New Years Resolutions. I like the idea of evaluating your life periodically and setting goals for yourself. When you set goals set ones that have realistic obtainable outcomes such as going to the gym once a week rather than daily. Small goals are best because they are more reachable and can help you keep positive momentum rather than getting frustrated when you cannot reach your goal.

For a more personal goal such as being less stressed or not engaging in negativity I suggest making plans for the situations in which you get stressed or feel yourself pulled into negativity. This might mean that when you are stressed you will commit to taking a 10 minute walk. When you feel pulled into negativity you will take a break and talk to a supportive friend. Having a plan of action will allow you to address the greater goal. The overall outcome of not being stressed is not obtainable; you really just want to handle your stress better.

It is a great thing to work on yourself, but do it in a way that you will have success.

“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”  Abraham Lincoln