By Misty Poe
Times West Virginian
So, if you are like the rest of the country, you’re spending today (and tonight) indulging in the best food, drink and bad behaviors. Because tomorrow, that’s it.
You are going to lose weight.
You are going to quit smoking.
You are going to save money.
You are going to be a better spouse.
You are going to be a better person.
It’s a new year, and that means a new you. What better way to start the new year than a dedication or a rededication to a goal?
This isn’t something new that our nation or our generation invented, by the way. The Babylonians and the Romans made their promises every January to pay back debts or return borrowed objects. Even during King Arthur’s time, every new year, knights would rededicate themselves to chivalry, the strict code by which they lived.
So if you are wondering who is joining you on the quest to a better you this year, experts say about 45 percent of Americans make a goal. But success rates? Now that’s a different story. Only about 12 percent of those who set out to change their lives stick with it as the calendar pages flip from month to month.
In 2007, there was a study at the University of Bristol that suggested goal setting increased the likelihood of success by 22 percent. That means you may be more successful if you say, “I am going to lose 50 pounds in 2013” rather than just saying, “I plan to lose weight.”