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I Kept My 2019 New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time again! The dawn of a new year brings about the desire to start fresh, begin again, and bring about changes in our life. At the onset, we reflect on what we accomplished, review how we ended 2019, and decide where we want to go. It’s a revivifying time, enabling us to reset and begin anew. One way to jumpstart the process is to make a New Year’s resolution.

Research shows that “while as many as 45-percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals.” www.history.com

Very few follow through with their resolutions. The following shows what typically happens:

Only 75% of people make it past the first week.

Only 71% make it past 2 weeks.

Only 64% make it past 1 month.

Only 46% make it past 6 months.

By the end of the year, only 8% of people have kept their resolution.

“In other words: the people who make good resolutions at the new year have given up on them by the end of June.” Proactive Mindfulness

So why make a New Year’s Resolution if we aren’t going to keep it. Because it’s fun? To see how long we can make it? The reason we make a resolution each year is Hope; New Year’s resolutions are about Hope.

Webster’s First American Dictionary defines hope as: “a desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable…Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy.” It’s Hope that brings us joy about what can be, consequently, we resolve to change at the start of a new year.

At the end of 2018, I heard on the radio that going to a movie once a month will make a person happier. It sounded like a great idea so I made my 2019 resolution exactly that. I would go to a movie in a theater once a month for the entire year. To you, it might sound easy, but for me it was difficult.

I had not been to a movie in a very long time. Partly because I couldn’t sit still for 2 – 3 hours and partly because there wasn’t anything I wanted to see. Along with that, when I would happen to see a movie, it was with someone else and wasn’t one I would pick to watch.

Nevertheless, I wanted this to be my New Year’s Resolution so I had to make it attractive to me. I decided that I would go to the movies I wanted to see and was delighted to go by myself.

January came and before I knew it the date was January 30th. I didn’t want to fail the first month and be part of the 46% who don’t keep a resolution for more than a month. I got up and went to a late showing on January 31st.

Suddenly it was February 28th and I had not seen a movie for the month. Consequently, I made it to a movie that night. This happened in March and April too. Each month I would race to a movie so I wouldn’t fail with my resolution.

For the most part, when I would attend a late movie, I was either the only one in the theater or one of a couple of people. That was perfect for me. In May I decided to attend a movie during the day when people were at work. Still few to no people in the theater.

Next June came and schools were out for summer break. I was not excited about attending movies with kids in the audience because of the distractions. I changed my plan and just went to movies around 11 pm, or ones that were rated “R”.  Not hardcore “R” but movies like “Late Night.”

By now I was halfway through the year and had become one of the 46% of people who kept their resolution that long. Once school started up again, I was able to go back to my original plan. Each month I saw another movie, attending my last one on December 10th.

I was now one of the 8% of people who kept their New Year’s Resolution! It was exhilarating that I had made it. I reflected on what I had accomplished. Whether it was attending a movie monthly or not, I am happier than I was a year ago.

Some of the movies were satisfactory, some fell short, and a few were great. The interesting thing is that the movie I saw in January, “Cheney”, was the best one all year.

At the close of 2019, I heard on the radio that people who want to be more mobile and enhance their memory should learn a dance routine once a week. Both outcomes were very appealing. Just one thing was standing in my way; the pressure knowing I had completed my 2019 resolution so anything less than keeping my next resolution would be a failure. I thought about how I could change the pledge to learn one dance routine a month, making it achievable. Taking on too much would diminish my hope of completing the goal.

I spent some time pondering what I wanted to accomplish in 2020. More than anything, I wanted more writing exposure through blogging, and I wanted to make one-minute long videos. For that to happen, it was necessary to make it my focus.

Resolutions are about hope – “A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.” Accomplishing my writing and video goals is more than a dream; I yearn for it. Last year I achieved my goal. I see now that by making a resolution I can succeed. So here goes:

My 2020 New Year’s Resolution

I will post weekly, write a minimum of two articles per month, and make one video blog in January, two in February, and three from March on. I know I can do it. Now that it’s out there you can hold me accountable.

As for learning a new dance routine once a month, there is always 2021.

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