by Kevin Burton
Today is National Quitters Day. You can handle that one, right?
I sure can. Even I can be a high achiever on Quitters Day. Just throw up your hands and say, “I’m out!”
Why not make every day National Quitters Day?
Today is also Friday the 13th. So that’s the first thing I am quitting today, superstition in all forms.
If you think about it even a little bit, you could figure out why the second Friday in January is always National Quitters Day. It is the day set aside for people who make New Year’s resolutions but fail to keep them, according to nationaltoday.com.
On the second Friday, you’ll get a good test, for example, on that weight-loss goal. It’s the weekend. You worked a full week for the first time in a while. The pizza parlors are open, neon lights flashing.
“Oops” goes your resolution. And it’s not just weight-loss that goes by the wayside.
“In 2019, extensive research was conducted by Strava — a social network for athletes — and it was found that approximately 80 percent of people who made New Year’s resolutions have tapped out by the second week of January. Making deductions from the available 800 million user-logged activities in that year, Strava even went on to predict that the second Friday of January was the fateful day when the motivations of most quitters begin to decline.”
“One of the major problems with achieving new-year resolutions is that those who set them are over-ambitious. People usually start with high levels of motivation, but as time progresses, the drive begins to wane,” the article reads.
Other studies cited by the website showed similar results. For example, according to a University of Scranton study, only 19 percent of people stick with resolutions and reach them within two years.
“The key in achieving goals is to set short, medium, and long-term goals as opposed to one large unrealistic stretch goal. Starting small and staying consistent, and also pairing up with someone else to remain accountable and motivated, will lead to good results.”
But National Quitters Day is observed to encourage, not to chastise.
“The day is not one to make fun of those who set goals and quit, but one to ultimately inspire them to eventually achieve their goals despite the odds,” the article reads.
One useful strategy could be to make multiple goals – dozens of them – in the hope that you will keep one or two. Hey, worked for me in fantasy football. Four teams, one championship.
The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions began some 4,000 years ago in Babylonia according to the website. Now it’s Westerners who hold to it the most.
The website says studies have shown that those who make common New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to succeed than those who decide to make life changes at other times of the year. If that is true, that fact isn’t useful to me.
If I get a good idea tomorrow, I’m not waiting 11½ months to put it into practice.
But if turning a calendar page helps with your determination to stick to your goals, why not set them at the end of each month? Maybe you have a different goal each month.
If you are on the wrong side of the survey results and don’t get through January with resolution intact, and if February gets away from you too, there is always March 4. Get it, March forth, toward your goals.
There is never a bad time to drop bad habits and pick up good ones. Just don’t be discouraged. If it were easy, people wouldn’t have a need for New Year’s resolutions.
The website encourages those who have not kept their resolutions to revise them rather than scrapping them altogether. It also suggests celebrating past achievements and using those as encouragement for future success.