The 5 Ws of New Year’s Resolutions!

With the first month of 2k15 nearing its end, it intrigues me to ask you, “What happened to the New Year’s Resolutions?”
Disclaimer: The following article intends to tell you how the culture of ‘articulating our unfulfilled desires into a checklist’ came into being and why it works or does not work for us. 

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Making resolutions on New year is now a global culture and is much anticipated by everyone who is looking for an excuse to kickstart their impending wishes. According to statistics by University of Stanton, among the top 10 commonly made resolutions are:

  1. Lose Weight [nobody ever said no to a smaller size!]
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  2. Get Organised [We don’t’ want our Mommy scolding us for a dirty room now!]

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  3. Spend less, Save more [Lesser the number of chocolates, more the amount of savings]
    img55Source- memes.com
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest [Unfortunately, we should be doing this already!]

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  5. Stay fit and healthy [Green tea over caffeine, anyone?]
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Ever wondered where it all began ? Well, you can stop wondering now (in case you did!)We owe the idea of resolution building to Babylonians who lived 4000 years ago. For them, a new year meant a promise to return tools and repay debts otherwise meaning, stop procrastinating. History has handed over this ritual to us as a means of starting afresh with a clean slate to ourselves.

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Making resolutions can be compared to a self-evaluating mechanism. We reflect on our shortcomings and failures in the past and take a leap of faith to overcome them in the year to be. The checklist becomes our beacon of hope and of a brand new chance to live life the way we wish to. But is this enough to get us slimmer and healthier ?
New_Years_ResolutionsAmy Cuddy, social psychologist and associate professor at HBS quotes in an exclusive interview to Business Insider, “Making resolutions often does us more harm than good. We tend to move towards achieving our goals but defer from defining them clearly. As a result we fill ourselves with feelings of anxiety and lower self-worth.” She cites the reason of there not being an absolute & quantifiable goal, negativity and reliance on the outcome rather than process.

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Going by the statistics, Marist Poll reveals that the number of people who make a resolution has declined over the years with only 44% who have likely made one this year. The logic behind this is probably the fact that most of us fail at keeping them and have decided to let them go anyway. To support this argument is a study by an Australian website finder.com which claims that almost 62% of the people fail to fulfill their resolutions.
calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsSource- Google images

 While it is entirely our choice to decide to make or not make a resolution, what we know for sure is that we can use science to our advantage. Research argues that in order for us to achieve our goals we should keep in mind the following:

#1: Long term goal= ∑ Mini short term goals

Promising yourself to be an author for a magazine demands adequate experience. Thus, in order to reach there you must break down your journey in terms of smaller milestones such as taking up an internship very alternate month, writing your own blog etc.

#2: Out of sight, out of mind

If you want yourself to constantly strive towards your destination you need that daily dose too! So pin up your to-do list on your table/doors/side table/ walls and make sure that ever morning is a reminder of where you are headed. We don’t want you to say, “I forgot it’s gym day today!”

#3: A friend in need is a friend indeed

Ensure that your family and friends know about your goals and they can nag you to pull up your socks. Extrinsic motivation plays an equally important part in bridging the gap between where we are and where we want to be.

And to bring an end to the psychology of resolution making, all we can say is that new beginnings are symbolic of hope and joy. So in case you spent the last one month cheating on our checklist, there’s still plenty time to get back on track. You can probably start today and pave way for your resolution success story of 2015!
We are waiting to hear from you !
By Pratishtha Khattar

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