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A Psychological Approach to Making (and Keeping) Your New Year's Resolutions

A Psychological Approach to Making (and Keeping) Your New Year's Resolutions

2 minute read

While New Year's resolutions are known for being broken, we thought we'd compile some top scientifically backed tips that focus on how our brain handles and reacts to setting new goals for the year. 

Research suggests only about 8% of people who set New Year's resolutions actually maintain them. In an interview with Dr. Paul Marciano, a noted behavioral psychologist, he outlines the science behind goal setting and behavior modification. 

Be Specific

The more specific the better. Something vague like "get in shape" is not going to yield results like "be able to do 10 pull ups by ____" or "run 3 miles without rest by ___." These concrete goals with a time limit and a number are much more effective simply because the goal feels more attainable. 

Track Your Progress

A fundamental principle of psychology is "if you can measure it, you can change it." Tracking your progress will also be helpful to identify plateaus so you can re-adjust your goals along the way. By incorporating your resolution into your schedule and having to see how far along you're getting on a daily or weekly basis, your goals stay fresh in your mind and you can constantly see where you'll need adjustmenting in order to succeed.

Publicize Your Goals

As embarrassing as it may feel to make your goals public, there's nothing more motivating than social support. Even just an accountability buddy can make all the difference. That vulnerability will dramatically increase your odds of success, so share your New Year's resolutions with friends and family this year!

Consistency is Key

Get up when you slip up. Just acknowledge the mistake and recommit to the original goal. Whether that means you have to restructure your way to the goal or take a moment to remember the reasons you made it. 

Keep these scientifically backed tips in mind and join the 8% who will be celebrating later in 2023! What are some of your New Year's resolutions?

Comment and share below, we want to hear them!

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