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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

How to stick to your New Year’s Resolution

How to stick to your New Year’s Resolution

The tradition of making a resolution for New Year’s Eve and fulfilling it in the coming year dates back to the early Babylonians. The Babylonians believed that what a person does on the first day of the New Year will affect him or her throughout the year. So what was their most popular resolution? Return borrowed farm equipment.

While returning a combine or tractor is still a good thing to do today, there are other resolutions that are also worthwhile. Here are some of the most popular New Year’s Eve resolutions:

I will spend more time with family.
I will become more healthy and fit.
I will be more optimistic.
I will be more helpful to others.
I will be more organized.
I will spend less money.
I will eat better foods
I won’t make any promises I can’t keep

It’s far easier to make a New Year’s resolution than it is to fulfill one. So we have prepared a few tips that can help you turn words into action.

1) Be clear. Set a goal that you can measure easily.
For example, it’s much easier to stay focused if you say, “I will lose 10 pounds and do it” then to say “I will lose weight.”

2) Create only one or two resolutions.
Trying to achieve too many goals in one year is not only difficult, but there’s a greater likelihood that you will get distracted and discouraged. Take it one step at a time.

3) Be prepared to work at achieving your goals.
The good things in life almost always take work and time. Be prepared to spend time and energy on achieving your goal. If you haven’t mentally prepared yourself for the amount of effort it will take, then you probably won’t be able to achieve your goal.

4) Give yourself a reward if you achieve your goal.
You’ll be more motivated to keep your New Year’s resolution if you know that there’s some little gift for yourself down the line. And boy, will you enjoy it.

5) Set up reminders
Whether its sticky notes, daily text messages or monthly reminders, make sure that you have some strategy to remind you of your commitment.

6) Give it time.
Most experts agree that it takes about 21 days to create a habit and six months for it to actually become a part of your daily life.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.