s I write this blog, I am watching college football, but reflecting on 2015 and thinking about New Year’s resolutions. What do you know about New Year’s resolutions? When did society start setting resolutions for the New Year? What is the success rate of resolutions? Why do we set them?
We are always seeking self-improvement in a certain aspect of our lives. Have you heard of few of these resolutions - “I will volunteer more,” “I will exercise 5 days per week,” “I will spend more quality time with family and friends.” Well, I started doing some research on resolutions, and here's what I found:
- New Year’s resolutions are more common in the Western Hemisphere.
- There have been several religious origins to resolutions in Babylon and Rome.
- Approximately 25% of Americans made resolutions after the Great Depression, but this increased to 40% at the start of the 21st century.
- A majority of New Year’s resolutions are reflected on self-improvement, but others are weight-, money- and relationship-related.
- Approximately one-third of Americans do not achieve their resolutions due to unrealistic goals and expectations, compared to 10% of Americans who set too many resolutions.
- Younger Americans are more successful in achieving their resolutions, compared to individuals over the age of 50.
Based on these facts, I started to think about the importance of SMART goals for ourselves, but also for our patients. Once we return to work for 2016, our patients will come to the clinic talking about the holiday season and how it may have affected their glycemic control. We should remind patients about setting a SMART goal to get back on track and be successful for the months ahead. However, a resolution can be made at any time of the year, which is important to mention to patients who may be unsure, or who continue to contemplate change with their health.
So, what will your resolutions be for 2016? Will you set resolutions for the whole year, or will you set shorter goals throughout the year? How will you help your patients be successful throughout the year?
To everyone, happy New Year and I hope you have a wonderful 2016!
About the Author
Jennifer Clements received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from Campbell University in 2006 and completed a primary care residency at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2007. She is also a certified diabetes educator and board certified in pharmacotherapy. Currently, she is the Interim Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.