Most people I know take time between the holidays and the New Year to ponder both the year that is ending and the one that is just beginning. The statistics are quite amazing and a bit disappointing. Approximately 90% of adults in the western world make new year’s resolutions. Of that group, 80% fail to accomplish their resolutions – most of them giving up by the second week in February. WOW! I wonder why that is?

Some studies have participants who agreed that their goals and desires were too lofty, not realistic enough. Others simply get discouraged and give up. I have mostly stopped making New Year’s resolutions as such, but I do spend time thinking of the year past and the new year. I try to look at things with a broad brush. I focus on my vision for the new year, without necessarily thinking of how many pounds I want/need to lose, or how much money I want/need to save. Just generalities.

Any change is difficult for us. Humans tend to love and be comfortable with the status quo. We love the known, the safe, our habits, and feeling comfortable and familiar in our space. This is true for our work life (change in the work place is a very difficult situation for anyone) and in our personal life (children or partners leaving, moving to a new home or city, changing our eating habits or our exercise).

Change is difficult, but it can be very rewarding. I have in my past had resolutions to lose weight, to decrease my debt, to stop spending money etc. Often, they were resolutions made to conform to what I thought others wanted for me. Often, those resolutions were not particularly what I wanted for myself. Over the years I did lose weight and have kept it off for a very long time. Not to please anyone but myself. Not to look better, but to feel better. I did become quite fit. Not to run a marathon (which I never will do) but again to feel better, feel more capable, feel less vulnerable physically. I did reduce my debt so that I could worry less about the future and enjoy today more.

There are things that you can do, if you make resolutions for the new year, that will help you achieve them. Just start. Just do one thing. Maybe on January 1st, maybe the 2nd. But start. Do something small. Then pat yourself on the back. Then do it again. Move forward by inches. If you miss a day, forgive yourself and promise to try again tomorrow. Periodically take the time to look back and see how far you have come. If you have a back-slide, forgive yourself. You are only human. We make mistakes. We fall back on old habits. We can pick ourselves up and start again.

This year my thoughts about the next 12 months are mostly general. I want to love more. Spend more time with our family and friends. I want to maintain good eating habits and my fitness. I plan to continue to decrease my debt. I hope to improve my leadership skills and inspire women to believe that they can change their lives and the lives of others. I hope to be more regular and more insightful with my blog. I want to be of service – to my family, my friends, my community, my team of business associates, to the world. I plan to increase my business, my reach, my impact, my commitment to myself.