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How to make a resolution you can keep this year

By APRILL BRANDON
Dec. 27, 2010 at 6:27 a.m.
Updated Dec. 29, 2010 at 6:29 a.m.


There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who make New Year's resolutions and those who do not.

(Note to self: Make resolution to stop beginning articles with overly used and cliche phrases).

For those of us who do, the news is not good, friends. Not only do we keep making the same resolutions over and over again, but we never, ever accomplish them.

For example, according to a study done by psychology professor John Norcross of the University of Scranton:

The top New Year's resolutions are weight loss, exercise and to stop smoking. Other popular resolutions are better money management and reducing debt.

(Note to self: Make resolution to come up with more creative resolutions).

Of the people who make resolutions, 75 percent manage to maintain it past the first week, 71 percent past two weeks, but only 46 percent maintain it after six months.

As for any longer than six months, most statistics hover around 97 percent in terms of resolutions that are never fulfilled.

So, just what are we chronic resolution-makers to do? Well, there is some good news. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions, according to Norcross. So, according to my math, the 3 percent of people who keep their resolutions are ... um ... 3 percent, divided by 10 times ... or multiplied by 10 times? Carry the one ...

(Note to self: Make resolution to get better at math).

Anyhoo, it doesn't matter. The point is, if you make a resolution, you have a better chance of reaching your goal than if you don't make a resolution at all. So, if you are thinking of making a resolution this year, the best way to go about it is to make it simple and achievable (that means none of that "I will lose 40 pounds by Valentine's Day," ladies).

(Note to self: Change resolution to lose 40 pounds by Valentine's Day to St. Patrick's Day).

To get you started, I've listed below some resolution ideas below that you are guaranteed to achieve this year.

1. Stop eating chocolate for breakfast.

2. Don't buy a hamster (they're just glorified rodents, folks).

3. Don't get injured while running a marathon.

4. Increase self-esteem by buying sweat pants two sizes larger than what you are.

5. Kill a house plant.

6. Be hungover on Jan. 1.

Well, that should be enough to help you get started on your own New Year's resolutions. Here's to hoping you have a wonderful holiday and a fabulous 2011.

(Note to self: Stop ending articles with generic and non-heartfelt fillers).

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