Is it possible to make a set of New Year’s resolutions that don’t turn you into a dirty old man looking for love with a cheap hooker?

December is both the most stressful and most optimistic month of the year for most of us. The stress associated with the Christmas period is backed up by medical research, which indicates that if you are planning to have a heart attack, the most popular time of the year is over the Christmas/New Year period. So clearly, all the cool kids are having heart attacks over the December holiday killing season.

The most likely reason is all the binge eating, drinking, and social stress that normally takes place over this period. Yet the vast majority of us survive this annual killing field and go into the Post-Christmas-Apocalypse-Bliss. The bliss comes about because usually in the few hours prior to New Year’s, you have mapped out a life of happiness with a set of New Year’s resolutions.

However, just like a dirty old man seeking love with a cheap hooker, this period of Post-Christmas-Apocalypse-Bliss is short-lived, quickly forgotten, and rather unfulfilling for all involved. Then we pretend it never happened and subsequently do it all over again next year.

Essentially the problem with New Year’s resolutions is that we really suck at making good ones. If you are reading this in the first week into a New Year, then there is a 25% chance you have already failed to meet the New Year’s resolutions you only created for yourself 7 days ago. If you are reading this in February, then the chances of you failing to keep those New Year’s resolution has already gone up to 36%. By June, 54% of us have failed to keep our New Year’s resolutions.

Granted, those statistics I’ve quoted are from the US where all kinda of wacky things take place, but the high New Year’s resolution failure rate is pretty consistently high in every country that is afflicted by the Gregorian calendar. Just use yourself as an example –are you living the life of success and happiness that you planned out last New Year’s eve? Or did you just do what everyone else does and sign up for a 12 month gym membership that you never use?

Personally, I’m always making the equivalent of New Year’s resolutions throughout the whole year as I’m a chronic plotter and schemer. Not only do I have well detailed plans on everything including what my regime of benevolent world domination would look like, I also have an idea as to the general ambiance of my future secret mountain base, the capabilities of my future spaceship fleet, and the steampunk costumes my eclectic band of commandos will wear while fighting crime and Nazis. In case you are wondering, just like the original Nazis, the Nazis I fight will also have their uniforms designed by Hugo Boss.

Alas, I still don’t have a secret mountain base despite putting it in my annual list of New Year’s resolutions. So I’m starting to think maybe this whole New Year’s resolution thing just doesn’t work all that well.

So this year I’m trying something different. This year I only have one New Year’s resolution, and that is to see if New Year’s resolutions are all that and a bag of potato chips.

So, throughout the year I’m going to be investigating each of the top 10 most popular failed New Year’s resolutions and try to work out where we all went wrong. Then I’ll get all judgmental and pass verdict as to whether they should be on anyone’s New Year’s resolution list in the first place.

Top 10 Most Failed Resolutions

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get organised
  3. Spend less and save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

Any insights I find I’ll post here at Healthy Geek, culminating in the grandest summary of them all:

Are New Year’s resolutions all that and a bag of potato chips?

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