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Is Your New Year's Resolution Just An Empty Promise?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 12.28.09
Is Your New Year's Resolution Just  An Empty Promise?
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We make them every year and according to a new study we break them  every year as well.  We are of course talking about the New Year’s resolution.  Whether it be to start the new year afresh with a clean slate or just a slight tweak to your lifestyle, psychologists say we rarely keep our resolutions and when we break them we become more depressed in the process.  So should we even try?

There may be a way to make them stick if we understand why people have failed at keeping them.  An article from the Guardian talks about a study from the University of Hertfordshire that surveyed 700 people about their strategies of trying to keep their New Year’s resolutions.  From losing weight to giving up bad relationships less than a quarter of the respondents were able to stick to their resolutions.

Of the 78 percent who failed, most of them had focused by fantasizing about success and relying on willpower alone.  Psychologist Richard Wiseman , who led the study, told the Guardian, "If you are trying to lose weight, it’s not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasize about being slimmer." 

So what is the secret to successfully keeping your New Year’s resolutions?  The study reveals that people who kept their goals broke them into smaller steps and gave themselves rewards as they achieved each step.  They also let their friends in on their resolutions and kept a diary documenting their progress.  Making one resolution at a time led to the best results as well as regarding the occasional lapses as just temporary setbacks that you can work through. Wiseman says, "Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it."

What do you think of the study revealing most people fail at keeping their resolutions?

Have you had success with sticking to your New Year’s goals in the past?

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  • macito By macito

    Yes I have stuck to mine in the past. I did exactly what this article says about breaking them up into segments and achieving one segment at a time. It definitely helps to stay focused and also makes you feel better when you reach each goal!!

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    It's easier to stick to things when you start small!

  • vl33311 By vl33311

    I never set goals. I just try to start the year making better decisions.

  • lmccart By lmccart

    I do not make New Year's resolutions. I try to make a daily resolution to be the person God wants me to be. Every day I mess up, so I resolve to do better the next time, or the next day.

  • piscesgrly2 By piscesgrly2

    I do make resolutions, I usually succeed. My resolution each year is lose 30 pounds, not too big not too small. If I don't make it, then just brush it off and say hey at least I was able to do this..... BE POSITIVE.

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip

    I agree with the article. I have succeeded. Works best when you really are ready to make a change for yourself. And you have a great accountability partner that you really trust.

  • rktilson By rktilson

    The article is exactly right. It is one thing to visualize your goal but a whole other thing to actually accomplish it! You have to take steps in the right direction. Setting realistic goals is always the best way to go.

  • mom2twins08 By mom2twins08

    Great article. Most of my New Years resolutions tend too be so idealistic and almost impossible. When I don't reach them I feel so down and beat myself up over it. I've been trying to set smaller goals for myself--but not just on New Years--whenever I think of something I want to change or achieve I try to start right away -- or at least write it down! :)

  • Alyssarae92293 By Alyssarae92293


  • radar525 By radar525

    I try to set resolutions that are not unattainable. Instead of "lose 15 pounds" I try for "make better eating choices and increase activity". It sounds corny, but it works for me. Working on gradual changes helps me hit and exceed my goals better. It also helps me make gradual changes to help the health of my family and get them into the "swing of things". This has helped me and my husband lose weight and eat much, much better over the last couple of years.

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