Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2015 - 07:42:25

A new year can mean changes and a new start
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Jan 2, 2013, 13:15

From losing weight, to quitting a bad habit, to spending more time volunteering, the new year for many symbolizes a new start, a new year to make changes, a new year to make things right. In a University of Scranton study, Journal of Clinical Psychology, the top 10 New Year’s Resolution for 2012 were: 

1.Lose weight
2. Get organized 
3. Spend less, save more 
4. Enjoy life to the fullest 
5. Stay fit and healthy 
6. Learn something exciting 
7. Quit smoking
8. Help others in their dreams 
9. Fall in love 
10. Spend more time with family 

In the Tri-Cities, goals were in line with those shown by the study.

Jerry Giles of Chester said, “I want to quit smoking for my health and for my family.” 
photo by Caitlin Davis Jerry Giles, of Chester, resolved to quit smoking. Quitting smoking is a common resolution each year.

According to that same study from the University of Scranton, only eight percent of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s Resolution. Giles does not want to be part of that statistic and is already thinking about a way to achieve his goal by the time the clock strikes midnight on 2014. 

“I have thought about hypnotism,” Giles said. 

Carolyn May, of Colonial Heights, has a resolution, but does not quite have a plan for how to achieve it. 

“I want to be more tolerant,” May said. “I don’t know how [to achieve it] but I’m going to try.” 
photo by Caitlin Davis Vicki May and mother Carolyn May, of Colonial Heights are striving for oganization and tolerance.

For others, making a resolution was not part of the new year. The study by the University of Scranton indicated that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions, and each year 38 percent of people do not make a resolution.

Vicki May, of Colonial Heights, was amongst that group, although she usually isn’t.

“I don’t have one this year,” May said. “I usually do, but I haven’t thought to do it with Christmas, the holidays, it just got past me.”

Thinking on the spot, she said would like to be more organized. 

Tara Campbell, of Petersburg, did not make a resolution either because she did not want to wait for the new year to make a change. 

“I want to start doing things better,” Campbell said. “Start following through on things for me.”

As a mother with a full-time job, Campbell said she sometimes forgets to do things for herself, something that she did not want to go by the wayside in the coming year. 

“I tend to let things go for me,” Campbell said. “I want to start being a good me for me.” 

Darlene Fisher, of Dinwidde, also declined to establish a New Year’s resolution, which she sees as a form of wishing. 
photo by Caitlin Davis DarLene Fisher, of Dinwiddie, said that she wants to save wishes for those in need.

“I really don’t have one,” Fisher said. “I have what I want and what I need. I want the wish to go to someone who really needs it.” 

According to the same study, 75 percent of people maintain their New Year’s Resolution through the first week, 71 percent of people make it through two weeks and 64 people make it through one month. Only 46 percent of people keep their resolutions for an entire year. 

Some people who received smart devices for Christmas this year might find themselves taking advantage of a variety of apps to help them attain their goals.

For losing weight and getting fit, there is “Fitocracy,” an app that creates a competition among friends to help people stay on track. For those who resolve to eat a healthier diet, there’s “Lose It!,” which helps users record everything they eat from homemade food to restaurant fare. To learn something new and exciting, download “Snapguide.” This app serves as a guide to help users figure out a new hobby. Giles and others who have resolved to quit smoking can take advantage of “My Last Cigarette.” This app helps users map their smoking habits and even show them how much money can be saved through quitting.

Good luck to everyone who has set a goal for the year.

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