Lose weight, quit smoking, find another job. Does this sound familiar? Yes, these are some of the resolutions many of us made to usher in the new year.
According to some Internet sites, billions of people worldwide made one or more of these promises to themselves.
This year, US website www.goalsguy.com published the results of its survey of about 300000 people worldwide to find out what the top resolutions for 2009 were.
Not surprisingly, weight loss and improving physical shape came out tops, with quitting smoking in sixth position. At number seven was finding a better job.
Robyn Farrell, director of 1st for Women Insurance Brokers, says sticking to new year's resolutions may be life changing.
"There is something about new year that ushers in new hope, the promise of a fresh start of things and an opportunity to remake ourselves. And there are plenty of reasons to stick to new year pledges. Above all, if we achieve our goals, we could qualify for cheaper life insurance premiums," she says.
Farrell says setting unrealistic goals contributes to people giving up on their goals. She says achieving resolutions requires more than just making one.
"It requires step-by-step planning. Nothing life changing can be accomplished in a day or even a week. Life's major achievements are accomplished in baby steps. Don't see your resolutions as promises. Instead, consider them lifestyle resolutions for the year.
"Put your goals in writing and then plan how you are going to achieve them. Revisit your plan often, be prepared for setbacks, and never forget why you made the promises to yourself in the first place."