Our church at holiday services.
Do you attend church regularly? Then you're already one step ahead of the game when it comes to keeping those New Year's resolutions.
Psychologists at the University of Miami say religious belief and piety are secret ingredients to self control, according to a recent story in The New York Times.
But I must confess: This past Sunday, I went to the mall instead of church. The twins needed jeans, and the advertised sales were ridiculously cheap. Our family attends 11 a.m. services at least 80 percent of the time. I hope this means I'll be at least 80 percent successful in my goals for 2009.
Here are some of the reasons religious people might be able to make resolutions and stick to them:
- Believers are used to following rules.
- They have a social network in place to guide, advise and help them stay on track. (Couldn't we all use Resolution Buddies?)
- Believers are more likely than others to use self control to wear their seat belts, go to the dentist, take their vitamins--so they might be more likely to reach new goals, too.
- When temptation arises, they can use religious words and thoughts to fight them back effectively.
To stay on track and make your 2009 better than last year, researchers suggest you keep going to church if you are a believer. But what if you're not into all that religious stuff? Try doing more private meditation and join an organization with strong ideals.
Are you religious? Do you think religious people might have more success with their resolutions?