People around the world wipe their slates clean as the new year begins Jan. 1, 2015, and, as part of that process, many will also make resolutions to improve themselves in 2014. However, some residents of Garden City are not wholly sold on the idea of linking goals to New Year’s.

Lisa Southern, Director, Compass Behavioral Health, is among them.

“I see, time after time, that people do not follow through with the resolutions they make,” she said. “I believe more in people making a lifestyle change instead of trying to make it more of a New Year’s resolution.”

Southern said there is certain hype around the New Year’s resolution.

“They are doing it because this thing called the New Year’s resolution exists, not because they are ready to make the change and are ready to commit to the change,” she said.

Because that readiness and commitment are not present in the first place, Southern continued, they do not follow through with it and then they end up feeling bad or not making the long-term change they could have if they considered a lifestyle change, not a New Year’s resolution.

“You can make a lifestyle change any time of the year, not necessarily Jan. 1,” she added.

Southern believes people are not as likely to follow through on resolutions they are not mentally prepared to actually change.

“For instance, people get hooked on a fat diet and call it a resolution. Then when they lose the weight and they haven’t made other changes in their life, like reducing their stress or developing healthy eating, they stop the fat diet and the weight just comes back on.”

Making New Year’s resolutions is a personal choice, Southern said. If people choose to make them, they should explore their motives and understand why they are choosing to make that particular change.

Sarah Tighe, a fitness instructor at the Garden City Recreation Commission, is also among those who don’t set goals tied to the beginning of the year. She has goals, of course, but leaves herself free to set them any time of the year.

Tighe said if she has something to work towards all the time, then she does not have to feel so much pressure towards the beginning of the year.

“Usually at the beginning of the year, there are a lot of New Year’s resolutioners who come in and want to set goals, whether to lose weight or to be healthier, stress management, work on their cholesterol or blood pressure,” Tighe said, adding that exercise is a great way to do that, not only for the physical fitness part but also to manage stress.

“Being able to meet with those people and helping them meet those goals is always awesome,” she added.

Tighe’s sets short term goals…like finishing a race.

“The nice thing about races is just completing them,” she said. “That is the same as hitting my goal.”

GCRC Superintendent, John Washington doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions either, but does set goals throughout the year. He keeps them simple. Remembering to hold the door open for an elderly person, smiling at a child or calling his father more often than once a month, for example.

“I just pick those things I know I can actually accomplish,” he said. “Most people think of bigger things but I can get 20 of mine done, and you are still working on No. 1. I keep them small.”

According to the Marist Poll, 44 percent of Americans are “very likely or somewhat likely to make a New Year’s resolution” for 2015. Similar to last year, younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to resolve to change.

The poll reported that 56 percent of those younger than 45, compared with 33 percent of those 45 and older, plan to make a change to their lifestyle.

“Similar proportions of men, 43 percent, and women, 44 percent, are, at least, somewhat likely to make a resolution,” it asserted.

The poll went on to reveal that weight loss is the top resolution this year, cited by 13 percent of Americans who vowed to make a change in 2015. Exercising more follows with 10 percent, while 9 percent want to be a better person and 8 percent mentioned improving their health.

Smoking cessation, spending less and saving more money, and eating healthier rounds had 7 percent each, rounding out the top-tier in the complete list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions.

The top resolutions for 2014 were spending less and saving more, being a better person, and exercising more, each with 12 percent. Weight loss came in fourth with 11 percent, while health improvements, eating healthier, and smoking cessation each received 8 percent among those likely to make a resolution in 2014.

Nationally, among adults who reported making a 2014 resolution, 59 percent kept their resolution for, at least, part of the year, while 41 percent said they did not. This is a change from the previous year. Among those who made a resolution for 2013, 72 percent kept their word.