Making and keeping New Year’s resolutions

People often make New Year’s resolutions around January 1. Making a resolution is definitely in alignment with the idea of Deciding To Be Better. Here are 10 of the most popular resolutions:

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

But often these resolutions do not stick. Why not? This article highlights some research on the topic:

New Year’s resolutions ‘barely last longer than a week’

Many people do not have the willpower to make their New Year’s resolutions last longer than a week, research reveals.

Attempts to quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol at home or eat healthier food would be far more successful if people got support, according to health campaigners Change4Life.

University of Hertfordshire researchers followed 2,000 people who made a two-week resolution and found that those who relied solely on their own willpower failed even before the half-way stage.

There are two things that can help with this.

  1. The first is the Ten Steps, and in particular making a firm decision. See also the Power of Making a Decision.
  2. The second is the power of community – working with others to achieve similar goals. See The most important factor in happiness.

Another way to make resolutions more successful is to focus. This page makes the point:

Pick One. Just One.

A ridiculously high number of them are more a token statement anyway than an actual resolution followed up by committed action. So skip the vague sense of guilt and do something more productive instead.

Take a look at your life and where you want to be a year from now. If there are changes you’d like to make or things you’d like to do, pick one of them.

Just one!

This statement is key: “Once you’ve got your one, remember that it’s “the” one, and give it your all.” As mentioned above, make a real decision and follow the Ten Steps. If you get derailed, simply get back on track the next day rather than discarding your goal.

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