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Gordon: Resolve to give your most valuable asset in the new year, your time

In four days, it will be the first day of 2020, a new year and we will be entering a new decade. Without question, there will be numerous resolutions made and many of those resolutions won’t make it the first 31 days of the year. According to various studies most new years resolutions fail at a rate of roughly 88% and most rather quickly during the beginning of the year.

According to history.com “ancient Babylonians are believed to be the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. The Babylonians held events honoring the new year as it marked the time in the calendar year when they planted crops for the coming year in March."

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Popular resolutions typically include personal improvements, revolving around self-improvement and wellness. These range from new gym memberships, overall health, and forming new habits. In past years, examples of the top three New Year’s resolutions made were to exercise more, to save money, and to lose weight.

Statistically, society isn’t doing the best on these three popular resolutions — why are we trying so hard and yet not obtaining the results we attempt in the new year? Perhaps we not trying enough? Are we losing motivation in less than a month? Or perhaps habits are harder to break than we assume.

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A wide range of studies and research previously have told us that it takes about 21 days to form a habit. The research isn’t as clear cut as, in many cases, the length of time is much longer. Data shows that it could be as short as 18 days or as many as well over 200 days for a habit to form. It comes down to a wide range of factors from the individual to outside factors relating to the habit as well. The time frame for how long it takes to break a habit is as long as it takes with no specific amount of time to accomplish the task.

With the potentially daunting uphill climb of us trying to change our habits in the new year, is it any wonder why the success rate might be so low? Instead of a New Year’s resolution we should make a decision to resolve to do better in the new year. How each of us decides to do better is up to the individual to decide.

What will 2020 bring for each of us? It’s the great unknown of opportunity and possibility. We will all have opportunity this year as we each receive 24 hours a day for the 366 days of the new year. We each will receive a total of 8,784 hours of potential and possibly. While, statistically, most New Year’s resolutions won’t be successful, there is no reason they can’t be.

The real question for 2020 is how will each of us spend our time? Time, unlike many things around us, can’t be saved or transferred and we all are given the same finite amount daily. No amount of money can purchase a second of time and we can’t hang onto time as time is fleeting. Time is precious and priceless, especially if we truly understand and accept the potential that goes with it.

As we enter the New Year it’s a time to look back and let go of any disappointments, mistakes, stresses, or missed opportunities. 2020 is an opportunity for a fresh start with new beginnings, new chapters, and new opportunities and chances. 2020 brings us 366 days of opportunity with the question of how will you best utilize them?

Growing up, every time I saw my grandmother she would pose a question to me. “How's the world treating you and how are you treating the world?”

It’s a question that she asked me countless times over 36 years and one that continues to stick with me in life.

Perhaps, instead of that new gym membership that might go underutilized in 2020 we should all consider doing something for the greater good around us. The new year is a perfect opportunity to give the most valuable asset you have, your time.

Tom Gordon writes from Westminster. His column appears every other Saturday. Email him at tgordonwrites@gmail.com.

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