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Dec 29, 201611:08 AMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Resolutions we should all be able to keep in 2017

The celebration of a new year is the oldest of all the holidays. It was observed first back in ancient Babylon around 4,000 years ago. Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23. Later, Julius Caesar established the Julian calendar and declared January 1 as the start of a new year in 46 BC.

A quote in a recent WebMD blog said, “Here's a New Year’s resolution anyone can keep: Resolve not to make any more New Year’s resolutions.”

According to research, more than 60% of us admit to making New Year’s resolutions; however, less than 8% of us are successful in following through to the end goal. More than half lose their willpower before the end of January.

Research also shows that women resolve to focus on better health, while men pledge to find new employment and/or cut back on drinking. I’ve been doing my own research with area business friends and discovered that many have the same goals for the new year.

Here are some of the leading goals for 2017:

  • Maintain a healthier lifestyle. For a couple friends, this included quitting smoking or giving up eating out so much. A few said they plan to schedule more physical activity in their week.
  • Don’t commit to things you can’t do. Several business friends said they were going to work on the power of saying “No!” A couple added they would be much more careful in their decisions to help when asked.
  • Stop procrastinating. Funny, this was a popular goal. It seems as though we get overburdened with daily tasks and important tasks sometimes get put off until deadlines loom.
  • Slow down! Talk slower, eat slower, and think slower. Several friends said they have so many things to “digest” on a daily basis that their goal is to put aside their “hurry up and wait” mode and give themselves some time to think things through.
  • Reduce stress. This seemed to be at or near the top of most lists.
  • Don’t worry, be happy! Have a positive attitude toward life. When I did a little homework on happiness I learned that the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine says, “Happy people live longer.”
  • Do something enjoyable every day.
  • Schedule more personal time. This was a big one for almost everyone I spoke to. The feeling of crowded days and little time for oneself was high on most agendas, so having more time for personal things rated high.
  • Live in the moment, but plan. Too much stress and too many things to do make for no time in the present. Almost everyone said they plan to be more conscious of the present.
  • Pay it forward. This was another popular goal.
  • Look for the good in everything. This past year’s tension and drama created a need to find some good in all things.

I have learned that the older we get, the happier we become. One of my resolutions is to make sure I pay attention to this, whenever I get around to getting older.

Happy New Year to all!

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