New Year’s resolutions are the election promises of everyday life. You say the words, make the commitment, swear on everything you hold dear that you’ll fix those potholes, but when push comes to shove it’s a decade on and the cars are still bouncing and rolling over a broken road.
Resolutions are the same. You swear that you’ll never touch another chocolate, but two months later you’re guiltily staring at an empty box of fondants wondering where your self control went.
Why are resolutions so hard? What can you do to actually effect changes in your life? Where is the second box of chocolates you got for Christmas that you thought you hid behind the pasta in the pantry because…
Apply the power of habit to your annual goals.
Being a better you needn't be as hard as you think. From more sleep, to snacking smarter and ditching the gym - we put 10 New Year's resolutions to the test
2020 has been a disaster for meeting new people, which is why Per Carlbring's New Year's resolution is to spend next year trying to connect with someone new every day. Carlbring, a professor who heads Stockholm University's Department of Psychology, knows a thing or two about making a New Year's resolution stick. He and his colleagues recently published a peer-reviewed study on the topic.
Ironically, though, it’s hard to change habits precisely because our brains are so good at becoming habituated. We’re hardwired to automate processes. It’s how you can find yourself at work without having to think about getting there, or why you reach for the patch of wall where the lightswitch is in your own bathroom when you stumble into a hotel’s commode. It’s also why most new diets and exercise plans fail. Once a habit is automatic, it’s extraordinarily difficult to change it.
But you can harness that propensity to form habits. Let’s take a popular resolution—wanting to get in shape.
2020 was a rough one. Here’s how to make goals for 2021 that feel both satisfying and doable.
Why is it so hard to maintain perspective? What is that broken pathway in our brain that links checking off a to-do list item to the fear of death?
Gym memberships spike in January. We then spend months wasting money on them and feeling guilty. Gold’s Gym, a fitness chain, even uses falling check-in data to identify the day when resolutions fail. They call it the Fitness Cliff—and it’s normally sometime in early February. The problems with joining a gym as a New Year’s resolution are manifold. Changing and forming habits is hard to maintain when the new habit is a radical departure from your old ways.
The new year has shined a light upon me and burned the crust from my eyes to allow me to see the errors of my ways. You see, I was once like you. I was once a barrel full of piss and pizza, stressed cork struggling to contain the putrescent goo within. I was once tired, suppressing vomit in the shower, crying black red-wine tears—but I have left that life behind. I am writing this at the end of a perfect day. My eyes are shining a bright white light, one of completion and joy. I have changed for the better, friends. I am cleansed.
New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity for consumer brands to remind you of all the ways you could be better.
Resolutions are popular because everyone feels they could use a little improvement - Marilu Henner
Now that the British fad is taking hold in the U.S., research shows that losing booze for a month has several health benefits—sometimes months later.
And what you can do about it.
New Year’s resolutions are typically a self-centered affair. We promise to eat more vegetables; to exercise more; to read every New Yorker issue cover-to-cover, instead of letting them pile up on the coffee table.
I generally make the same New Year’s resolution every year: eat better. My diet of kale salad and baked salmon usually sticks for about six months. Then, like clockwork, I fall off the wagon come June or July.
Giving patients more "nature prescriptions" is among the new year's resolutions from clinicians around the country.
I’ve decided to say “no” more often. I’ve decided to examine the bad habits and the behaviors that cost me time but give me little in return. I’ve decided to make mindfulness a continuous practice. And I want to read more, so that I can further learn about empathy and understanding. And I’m doing all this so that I can continue to fight for equality, in and out of the hospital halls.
Bringing in the New Year with a hangover doesn't have to be an annual event. So what do celebrities do when they want to indulge?
You’re probably getting ready to make a few New Year’s resolutions... But if you’re like most people—and social science suggests that you and I are like most people—you’ve neglected a question that could help you actually stick to those resolutions: “When?”
New Year’s resolutions are predictions about the future. They are usually aspirational. And they are almost always deceptive. Like so many people, I did not end up doing what I said I would. And here’s the thing: I failed at the easiest prediction possible—me predicting me, just a few weeks into the future.
Every year around this time, some of us approach the turning of the calendar the way Charlie Brown approaches the football in the classic Peanuts cartoon. Even though Lucy has previously fooled him and whisked the ball away at the last moment every time, he is hopeful that this time will be different. Similarly, in spite of the very mixed track record of New Year’s resolutions, we make them again and again, somehow hoping this time will be different.
This year, let us not fool ourselves again.
If you don't check your sign's compatibility with your New Year's resolution, why even bother?
Lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, learn a language - we can all reel off a list of typical resolutions made and broken.
But BBC Reality Check wanted to know if there are certain resolutions you're more likely to keep?
When we think about New Year’s resolutions, we typically focus on tangible life improvements like trying to lose weight, eat healthier, or travel more. But technology has become such an integral part of our existence that it, too, can require some work.
Unfortunately, the problem of New Year’s resolutions is, in a way, the problem of life itself. Our tendency to be shortsighted — to value the pleasures of the present more than the satisfactions of the future — comes at a considerable cost.
Grandiose goals and vague promises don’t work, and neither does beating up on yourself for slip-ups.
When we think about taking action sometime in the future, we tend to neglect the constraints we’ll face when the future actually arrives.
New year, new you? Not likely. We asked life coaches why most of us abandon our resolutions, and if there's anything you can do about it.
Setting resolutions often feels like a pointless exercise — something we do at the beginning of each year only to then feel guilty by February. The pandemic has only made the practice feel more helpless. Why even attempt to set resolutions when you have no idea what will transpire in the coming months? The author explains why setting an intention for yourself is still a good idea and offers practical tips on how to make your resolutions actually stick.
Be specific about the actions you'll take, not just the end you want to achieve.
The secret to keeping a New Year’s resolution is one simple phrase.
COVID-19 has left most of us drained and wary of the future. Many people believed the pandemic would end in 2020, but 2021 brought more infection, lockdowns and restrictions.
Resolutions are also made worse by the fact that many of us try to go it alone. It’s in their very nature — a resolution is all about “Me”: “I’m going to get more exercise” or “I’m going to cut back on heroine sandwiches”. You don’t make a resolution to help others, because the whole idea is that you are going to improve yourself.
And if you vowed to use your phone less, just cut back on other apps, not these.
Each year, Americans’ most popular New Year’s resolutions are more or less the same: get healthy, get organized, save money. But doctors at the American Medical Association (AMA) have some more specific thoughts in mind...
It’s that time again. Resolutions are made, gyms grow crowded, and people toast to a healthier New Year over the latest juice cleanse. It’s easy to commit during the glow of the holidays but then lose steam in the months that follow. Set yourself up for success this year and give your willpower the boost it needs with the help of five simple tips that fit into your regular routine and stick around past February.
Living though difficult and stressful times can pave the way for a greater appreciation for life, deeper self-understanding, and increased personal resilience (which means being able to bounce back quicker).
When setting resolutions, it’s important they’re linked to meaningful goals and values that can sustain motivation.
It’s that time of year when people make their New Year’s resolutions—indeed, 93% of people set them, according to the American Psychological Association. The most common resolutions are related to losing weight, eating healthier, exercising regularly and saving money.
However, research shows that 45% of people fail to keep their resolutions by February...
The best resolutions are the ones you don't have to remember to keep.
This is for everyone who breaks their resolutions one week in.
Lose weight, run your first race, stay consistent: Here’s how to get started right now on your big goals for the new year.
What follows is a list of 50 common New Year’s resolutions with a piece of advice and plenty of links to useful articles that deal with the issue in greater detail. If you are looking for effective ways of changing your life for the better, then you’ll be sure to find tons of useful information here.