Last year’s resolutions were far too many and unrealistic. This time, I’m going to have fewer New Year resolutions. Let me bring down the number of resolutions from ten to one. Going to gym everyday was unrealistic. Instead, I’ll bring the gym home – a treadmill.” If the last day of the year finds you mulling over this, nursing a cup of coffee, RELAX! You are not alone.

It’s that time of the year again – A New Year! The calendar’s year count is incremented by one; a new beginning, a fresh start. Adrenaline surging through blood, we sift through our “mind closet” and dig out all those habits, needs and routines, that have been there not adding value, just clutter, and throw them out, to make space for something new – the closet shall be refurbished. Now is when we all vow to do a boatload of things, most of us will never follow through or, more embarrassingly, forget about, as 2016 rolls on.

About one in 10 people claim that they made too many resolutions.

Planning to exercise more (or at the least take the stairs), stay away from caffeine, become a morning person, not run out of money, not fail to relax while on vacation, or try not to enter 2016 with 2015 problems piggyback riding. If this is the case, you’re not alone in the race of nixing all the “bad” habits and grasping all the “good” ones.

Spend less, save more? We live in India, what about inflation?

Some of us, socially responsible ones, pledge to donate to the poor more often, stop child labor, be more charitable starting New Year’s Day, or to become more environmentally responsible, recognise and account for individual social responsibility (ISR) and probably wish to receive the Nobel prize, realistically, not before 2017.

New Year Resolutions — no one can deny having made some.

Reincarnation overnight???

If you’re planning to do any of these or any other, you’re taking part in a tradition, though a secular one. New Year’s resolution is not a modern phenomenon, as it may seem. It is a tradition that stretches back thousands of years, first observed in ancient Babylon, then in ancient Rome, and spreads across the hemispheres. Unlike today, Babylonians and Romans made promises to their gods — that they would pay their debts and return borrowed objects. Between the 5th and the 15th century, the knights vowed to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry as the New Year resolution. They named it the “peacock vow”.

On a more positive and serious note, New Year resolutions offer an opportunity to measure our goals. These are some points that you can consider while making an effort towards self-improvement.

Look Where You Stand Not literally. Assess how far you have succeeded on last year’s resolutions. Stop deluding yourself about making hasty lifestyle changes. If you feel that last year’s resolutions are worth a second shot, give them another chance, making sure that you follow them through, this time.

Realistic Resolutions New Year resolution has long been notorious for its high rates of attrition. In a survey, it was found that the most common reason for failing the resolutions is setting unrealistic goals. So, this time around take a pragmatic approach, if you can’t work out four days a week, then do it twice a month. Keep your resolutions within reach. Don’t be a super human.

Back to SchoolLearning is timeless. For learning, age is just a number. If you think something is worth learning. Go learn it. Pick up where you left off or learn something new.

Get Organized Having trouble in finding matching socks, always blaming your pets for displacement of objects in the room, or a cluttered desk or chaotic room identifies with you? You feel your life is in disarray. You’re most likely a messy person. And there is a greater chance that this messiness will negatively affect your productivity and even your mood, so it helps to clear the clutter, clean your house and lead a tidier and more organized life.

Do What Makes You Happy Do what makes you happy, not what makes them happy. Spend more time doing what really matters. Do more of that. Find happiness in the little things, they don’t have to be something you dedicate hours to each day. Don’t wait forever to find that one elusive “thing” that will make you happy rest of your life.

In the end, all the positive changes you make have to be permanent. You will need to work on sticking with the good habits you have adopted, until they just become a natural part of who you are.