There is something inherently beautiful about the ability to start fresh with the start of each new year. Though in reality it is simply the next day on the calendar, a new year gives us a new kind of hope. That is why each New Year is the time when people decide to start fresh; to lose a bad habit or to begin a healthier life.
While I love the excitement that a new year brings, I gave up on resolutions long ago, being of those people who must act on a resolution or idea immediately rather than waiting for a certain date to begin, or else it will fall to the wayside. Perhaps it is simply about which seize-the-moment mentality suits you better.
Each year, people around the country (and throughout the world) will begin on the first of January with a resolution to quit smoking. So, what makes one person stick to their resolutions and other people head right back to their old ways? Simply put, those who stick with it tend to be determined, motivated, and understand that breaking a habit or forming a new one takes time.
What motivates you to make a permanent change in your life? Is it self-motivated? Is it family, finances, news from your doctor, or something else entirely?
Believe it or not, a new study has revealed that celebrity cancer diagnoses are a tremendous motivator for people to begin their quest to stop smoking, one of the most commonly known New Year’s resolutions. When celebrities publicly discuss their cancer diagnoses in the media more smokers search for information on quitting the habit than events such as New Year’s Day or World No Tobacco Day.
We all saw what happened in May when Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed in the New York Times revealing her breast cancer diagnosis, and the subsequent months of mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries she underwent. In October, Good Morning America reported that there has been a marked increase in requests for genetic testing among women with a family history of breast cancer, which has become known around the country as the “Angelina Jolie effect.” Many more women throughout the nation may have been prompted to stop avoiding their mammogram appointments as well. Though she could have kept what was undoubtedly a very personal decision and time to herself and her family, instead she chose to make it public in a way that may very well have saved many, many lives.
Perhaps when these types of celebrity announcements and public discussions take place, it reminds people that someone who might seem larger than life on screen is not larger than life in reality. It might make people more open to hearing the message about making a change for the better. Maybe that becomes a more powerful motivator than a relative’s nagging, a doctor’s insistence, or the beginning of a new year.
Regardless of your motivation, here’s wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy new year.
Jessica also recently wrote:
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