A Fresh Look at Resolutions for the New Year


New Year ScrabbleAfter reading that most people fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions (the statistics report that 55-60 percent of people abandon their resolutions), I was ready to give up, but then I heard an NPR report that brought joy back to my list-making heart.

Turns out you’re 10 times more likely to follow through with a resolution than someone who doesn’t have one. Think about the percentage who are successful. In his NPR interview, John Norcross talks about a study where people with similar goals were compared. Of those with resolutions, 40-46 percent were successful at 6 months. The chance of similar success for those without resolutions was 0-4 percent (not-so-great odds).

If, like me, these numbers have inspired you to think about making some "new deals" for the new year, the top ten New Year’s Resolutions on About.com: Pittsburgh might add fuel to the fire. Then check out this eHow article on wording your resolutions in a way that makes them more likely to stick.

The University of Maryland Medical Center gets a couple more psychiatrists to offer tips on healthy resolutions and preparing for success (Dr. Norcross says believing a change is possible makes success much more likely).

And Gretchen Rubin, in the midst of some very good advice on changing habits, wins me over by quoting Voltaire.

Over at the Nemec household, we had a very ABBA Christmas (my parents saw Mama Mia on Broadway and are in love with the movie – my brother and sister-in-law, not so much). So, here's some music to get resolute to:

Cindy Murphy
1/1/2009 8:44:32 AM

Very good tips on those links, Jenn. Yep, I agree with the experts and Jean - making a list seems the way to go...whenever I get around to it. And when I do - Stop procrastinating will be at the top!

Jean Teller
12/31/2008 10:21:14 AM

Great links, Jenn! And love the ABBA video! It looks like making a new list this year might be the way to go, so here goes: I resolve to exercise. OK, I said it, yes, exercise. Happy New Year!

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