2012 New Years Resolutions

Psychological and Motivational Factors

We all make new years resolutions - or simple use the beginning of each year as a signpost to improve who we are. Though all of self help is common sense, this blog puts a 2012 twist on it.

New Year's Resolutions That Aren't Losing Weight   Huffington Post - January 2, 2012
Each year, many of us resolve to eat healthy food, get fit and, yup, lose weight. And while those goals are as admirable as they are popular -- especially for people who are at a weight-related health risk -- the reality is that fewer than half of people actually stick to their goals six months in. So instead of the tired old promise to lose weight, we have 12 new healthy resolutions to try for 2012.

Prioritize Sleep

Improve Your Posture

Kick The Diet Soda Habit

Remember To Breathe

Stop Snacking Just To Snack

Take Makeup Off Before Bed

Do 10 Minutes Of Yoga A Day

Bike Or Walk To Work Once A Week

Quit Saying You're Sorry -- Unless You Really Are

Ditch Sky-High Heels

Do One Thing A Week Only Because You Want To

The New Year's Resolution We Should Be Making  
Live Science - January 2, 2012

We all know that popular New Year's resolutions involve dieting, exercise and the nixing of bad habits. But what if we could fix things we didn't even know were wrong with us? Even good people have mental weaknesses. Just ask psychologists, whose research often turns up sour news on the human psyche. We can be jealous and arrogant, willing to look the other way when horrible things are going on, and even the nicest of us harbor subtle racial bias.

In our best New Year's fashion, we asked social scientists to tell us what they see as the worst hidden weaknesses of humans - and whether there's anything we can do to overcome them. Their responses suggest that this year, we should all resolve to see things from others' perspectives.

We Fear the Other

We indulge in ill-informed stereotypes

We go with our gut

We lack empathy

We act out of self-preservation

Easy New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To In 2012  
Huffington Post - January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012. What are you going to do to make this year your best yet? And no, we're not talking about unrealistic (yet well-intentioned) promises to yourself such as going to the gym every single day or swearing off your favorite food or calling your mom every single day.

The thing with new year's resolutions is that they're often simply unrealistic. With that in mind, we've put together 11 easy new year's resolutions you can actually stick to. They don't cost anything and require minimal effort -- but could have a big, positive impact on your life this year.

Read through and consider adopting a few (if not all!) of them. If you can come up with any other low-barrier-to-entry new year's resolutions, start a conversation in the comments.

Why bother with resolutions? Because failure inspires   CNN - January 3, 2012

So, why bother with New Year's resolutions? Is there a point to making the same resolutions every year? Lose weight, organize finances, spend more time with the family, blah blah blah. It's like an annual empty promise, so why waste your time? Well, thanks to my wife, I just stumbled on a really good reason. Ten years ago, my family started coming up with our resolutions at the dinner table over the holidays.

It was fun, we laughed and discussed and compared, then wrote our resolutions down and posted them on the fridge. My wife, the brains behind most things in our family, saved those slips of paper, and now we look over our resolutions with the perspective of a decade.

Reading back on what I wrote over the years, there are lots of resolutions I DID keep. Writing them down, sometimes again and again over many years, was a big help.

I resolved annually for seven years (2002 through 2009) to master some specific, painfully complicated computer skills. Thanks to our New Year's ritual and its systematic self-nagging, today I'm professionally certified in those skills. Done.

Resolutions involving something physical don't take seven years as long as they are realistic. I decided 2008 should be the year to learn to lap swim, and I did. Just like the 2003 resolution to run a half-marathon and 2007 to renovate my daughter's bedroom. Done and done.

Resolutions to avoid are ones that depend on others, like 2005's "Learn to play duets with a cellist." The cellist never showed up. Or that are too subjective, as in 2007's "Reduce sugar and caffeine intake." Huh?

But the failures turn out to be the best lessons.

In 2005 I started making resolutions about my eating habits. "Five servings of veggies a day" lasted a few months, but it helped me understand how to track what I eat, and 2010's "Think about what I want to eat before I look at the menu" became a new and ingrained habit.

With the 20/20 of hindsight, the piles of un-met goals in my hobby of playing music are all the same mistake: They are all over-ambitious. Amateur musicians take note: You'll feel a lot more fulfilled if you are frank about your practice time limits.

There is an oddball bit player who shows up when it's time to write resolutions then disappears for a year until it is resolution time again. The home repairs I need to do only bother me slightly, but consistently. Good reason to keep them in focus.

You may not be surprised that my key resolutions for 2012 are similar to what they've been for the past decade. Near the top of the list, yup, is more time with my family, better-organized finances and losing a few pounds.

But the record shows that if I keep at them, keep working out how and why I keep flopping at the same things, perhaps 2012 will be a successful year.