Set yourself up for success with New Year's resolutions

January 3, 2022 Providence Health Team

This article was refreshed on January 3, 2022.


In this article:

  • Research indicates that people who make New Year’s resolutions often struggle to maintain them.

  • Creating too many goals or goals that are unattainable can set people up for failure.

  • Instead, you can implement some simple goal-setting strategies that will set you up for success.

The vast majority of New Year's resolutions involve a pledge to try to become healthier, but most people find their resolve fades a few weeks after the champagne corks have been popped. A study published last year followed 200 individuals who made New Year’s resolutions. Results indicated that more than 20% of study participants gave up within the first week, and more than 45% did so after just one month.

Reasons for the dramatic drop-off vary, but more often than not, people fail to achieve their resolutions because they don’t prepare properly before they get started.

The good news is that setting goals strategically, combined with managing your expectations, will set you on a path toward success. It’s important to remember before you even begin that “the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes,” according to the American Psychological Association (APA).  

That means it’s absolutely OK (and encouraged) to set reachable, reasonable goals that fit your life to set yourself up for success.

How to succeed at your resolutions

Check out our infographic and learn how to focus on the process instead of the finish line for greater success in hitting your health and wellness targets.

Find a doctor

If you are looking for a primary care doctor, you can search for one that’s right for you in our provider directory

Related resources

Stay on track with your health goals 

5 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions (That Don’t Involve Losing Weight)

8 ways to kick off a healthy New Year

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

Previous Article
How to apologize to your teen
How to apologize to your teen

A sincere parental apology can be an opportunity for role modeling as well as repairing a relationship. Her...

Next Article
How to host a healthy holiday, featuring Express Care
How to host a healthy holiday, featuring Express Care

Follow these quick tips for a healthier holiday gathering. If symptoms show up to the party, Express Care c...