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Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Usually Fail?

New Year's Eve Party

‘Tis the season to be jolly, the season to eat traditional meals, to give and receive gifts around the Christmas tree, followed by a bit of relaxation and a massive party to celebrate the passing of another year. This is a time when many decide that their lives need to change – for the better, most of the times. Yes, once again ’tis the season to make a New Year’s resolution. And it’s inevitably followed by a time of the year when the majority of New Year’s resolutions invariably fail. But why? Science, as usual, has an answer to this question.

The resolutions

New Year’s Eve is a turning point – it is the night that separates the old year from the new one, filled with traditions and superstitions that are meant to ensure a prosperous, lucky, and happy New Year. This seems like the best time to commit to major changes in one’s life – this is probably why most people make resolutions at this time for the new year. These resolutions range from minor things like catching up on your backlog reading Canada casino reviews to major shifts in thinking and lifestyle, like losing weight and paying off a major debt. As you might expect, it’s not the small resolutions that usually fail – and this has a lot to do with the way we, humans, are wired.

Big goals, too big

Most people who make New Year’s resolutions are either far too vague about their goals (“I want to be a better person”, “I want to lose some weight” or “I want to be more successful with the ladies”) or they set goals that are too hard to achieve. While they are filled with enthusiasm at the time they make them, these people get discouraged when feeling the toughness of the job on their own skin. And when the hardships are gathering and the expected results fail to come, people get discouraged and ultimately give up on the changes they resolved to make, returning to their previous way of life.

Girl on Top Hiking

How to resolve the right way

You can make a New Year’s resolution in a way that will give you a good chance to complete it. There are actually quite a few tricks that you can use to do so.

First of all, you have to be very specific about your goals and your desired time frame. Instead of resolving to “lose some weight”, you should say “I want to lose 10 lbs each month until July”, for example. This will make your goal much more “tangible”, so to say, and thus, easier to reach.

Next, you should be completely realistic about your goal. Don’t resolve to lose 50 lbs in a month – quite often, a tenth of that can be a goal hard to reach. Instead, keep your feet on the ground when making resolutions, promising yourself to achieve something you can actually achieve.

Last but not least, make yourself accountable. Promising yourself to lose weight, for example, is far less effective than promising the same to somebody else, so you can be held accountable for your progress. This is a principle that works in many areas, from weight loss to spending less and working more.

So, make your resolution right – and have a happier New Year.

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