Ettie Newlands

I actually kept all 17 of last year’s New Year’s resolutions, bar none.

Of course, they included not getting a cat and not taking tennis lessons.

I also resolved not to wear horizontal stripes and not to have more children.

Check. Check. Check. Check.

On the positive side, I resolved to gain between seven and 10 pounds. That was the easiest one.

It seems we have the Babylonians to thank for the custom which started when they promised their gods to repay debts and promised their king they’d be loyal.

Their New Year was in March, by the way, to commemorate the planting of crops. [You’ll thank me for that little tidbit if it comes up on “Jeopardy.”]

And now it’s time again to resolve, to promise, to commit to good things.

It’s not surprising that church memberships increase in January and Weight Watchers-type groups are flooded with new folks.

Studies show that resolutions trend according to where people live.

In South Carolina, for example, the No. 1 resolution is to get or change a job.

The most popular resolution, in 18 states, is to exercise. In 16 states, it’s to save money and in eight states, it’s to eat healthier.

Studies also show that people in South Dakota are the best at keeping their resolutions, their first choice being to lose weight.

According to those same studies, the easiest resolution to keep is generalized as “personal development” and the hardest to keep is to diet.

It seems 36.6% of people keep their resolutions for a month or less with 25% giving up after a week. Only 11.4% actually change their ways and keep their resolutions.

Psychologists say resolutions should be short-term goals as opposed to major life changes.

They also say to tell someone what our resolutions are so that we’re accountable for them.

I’m not going to do any of the things they say. Matter of fact, I resolve to stop reading results of random studies.

I’m also sticking with last year’s resolutions.

No cats, no horizontal strips, no tennis lessons, no kids.

I’m good.

Happy 2020.

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