Set yourself up for success with New Year's resolutions

Providence Health Team

This article was refreshed on January 3, 2022.

[4 MIN READ]

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.

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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.

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