Making Resolutions Stick

Only 8 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually succeed, according to the University of Scranton. Take heart: By learning a few tricks to bolster your willpower, this year can be different.

New Years Resolutions

Use the buddy system.

  • When psychology professor Gail Matthews, PhD, assigned 267 study participants of various ages and backgrounds to groups and had them follow different goal-setting plans, she found that those in the group that committed goals to paper, formulated action items, told a friend about them, and sent that friend a weekly progress report were 33 percent more successful than the group that just thought about its goals.

Set detailed goals.

  • If you’re trying to lose weight, set the number of pounds you want to lose by a particular date. If you want to save more money, name the dollar amount you want to add to your savings account each month. Concrete goal setting with specific benchmarks encourages a greater commitment to healthy behaviors, show studies reviewed in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Hang in there.

  • Individuals who make it past the first 30 days of their New Year’s resolutions are much more likely to keep them, reveals a 2012 survey of 1,000 American adults, conducted by research firm Kelton Global and self-discipline expert Rory Vaden. In fact, of those who passed the 30-day mark, 76 percent had ongoing success sticking with their resolutions. Don’t worry, February will be here before you know it.

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