The 2-page handout





The reading

The start of every New Year is when we all make plans to change our life for the better over the forthcoming twelve months. Psychiatry professor Jayashri Kulkarni says: "January 1 is a 'magical' date and a vow made on this day is much more powerful than one made on August 26, for example." So, we all make a list of things to quit, start or change. Unfortunately, most of these promises are, more often than not, broken by January 31st. They are usually the identical resolutions that were not fulfilled from the previous year, and the years prior to that. The website usa.gov says people, "tend to make the same resolutions year after year, even though they have a hard time sticking to them".



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Research shows 45 per cent of us make a New Year’s resolution. The most common vows include losing weight, volunteering to help others, quitting smoking, saving money, and getting fit. Others include eating healthier food, drinking less alcohol, and going on a trip. However, research also shows that most of us are not so good at sticking to these. A study from the University of Scranton reveals that 71 per cent of us stick to our annual promises for the first two weeks; six months later, less than 50 percent are still on track to keep their resolutions. Most people who give up on their resolutions do so because of a lack of willpower and the use of the 'escape clause' that they will 'try again next year'.

Sources:

  • http://www.science20.com/the_conversation/symbolic_gestures_the_magical_thinking_of_new_years_resolutions-151909
  • http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/01/01/top-new-years-resolutions-for-2015/
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/01/bad-new-years-resolutions_n_6401180.html

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