As the year is coming to an end I start to think about the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. In years past I’ve made resolutions but have found it is often difficult to keep them. Where did the idea of resolutions begin and how can I keep them?

This question sent me on a quest to find out how this tradition came to be. Many believe the Babylonians were the first to make resolutions. Their resolutions were made to their gods and often included promises to return borrowed objects and pay their debts. To not keep ones promise to the gods would mean hard times for them and their family. The Romans and even the knights in medieval times had similar traditions. Many of these traditions revolved around religion.

Today, many people make resolution to themselves instead of making them to their gods.  Newsday.com cited the following as the top 5 resolutions for 2015:

  1. Lose Weight/Exercise More
  2. Quit Smoking
  3. Eat Healthy
  4. Learn Something New
  5. Spend Less/Save More

Most of these sound simple to keep but in reality can be very difficult. Lack of sustained motivation and commitment are the most common reasons people are unsuccessful in keeping resolutions. Here are a few tips from Psychologytoday.com to help you make and keep your resolutions:

  1. Focus on one resolution
  2. Make resolutions a year long process
  3. Take small steps
  4. Have an accountability buddy
  5. Celebrate you success between milestones

Armed with a new understanding of resolution setting I think I might be more successful this next year. I’ve decided my resolution for 2016 is to volunteer double the amount of hours I did in 2015. So I am committing to volunteer 100 hours in 2016 and I’ll have my Executive team help hold me to it. What will your resolution be in 2016?

Sarah Slonsky

Sarah has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years and began her career with Verity Credit Union in 2003 as the Manager of the Alderwood Branch. Over the years she has led several departments including Internal Audit and Consumer Lending. In her current role Sarah is responsible for ensuring the credit union continues to meet its member’ financing needs while minimizing losses to the credit union and its members. She also serves as president of CU Home Mortgage Solutions, which provides quality mortgage services to Verity members and other Washington credit unions. Her goal is for “Verity to be top of mind when our members have a need to borrow or when they pull out a credit card to make a purchase.” Sarah holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting from City University. Away from work she enjoys spending time with her husband and four daughters.

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