Article Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Want to Keep a New Year’s Resolution?


Jan. 3, 2017 Psychology Today

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, and many people get frustrated and abandon their New Year’s resolutions.

A common mistake? Setting up the resolution in the wrong way. We think we “should be able to” do it first thing in the morning, or we think we should imitate a resolution that works well for someone else.

But there’s no one, correct way. It’s just whatever works for us.

I know this, because I used to try to indulge moderately in sweets — but I’m an Abstainer. And I used to try to do difficult writing in the afternoon — but I’m a Lark. And I use to hold myself back from buying too much at one time — but I’m an Under-buyer. Etc. Now that I set up resolutions to suit my nature, I succeed much more often.

As you set up your resolutions, be sure to consider these distinctions, as outlined in the “Strategy of Distinctions” in my book Better Than Before, which is all about the multiple strategies we can exploit to change our habits.

Before you decide on the resolution you’ll make, consider…

are you a Lark or Owl?

— are you a Marathoner or Sprinter?

— are you a Simplicity-lover or Abundance-lover?

— are you a Finisher or Opener?

— are you an Abstainer or Moderator?

— are you an Under-buyer or Over-buyer?

As you’re thinking about these distinctions, it can be helpful to ask, “When have I succeeded with this resolution in the past?” If there was a time when you exercised regularly, cooked frequently, got enough sleep, etc., that might hold clues for how you might be able to do a better job in the present.

When we know ourselves, we can set up a resolution in the way that’s right for us. It’s not that hard to keep our resolutions, and to change our habits — when we know what to do.

Read More on Psychology Today

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

Apply Today

All Resources

Tell Me More

Why It Doesn’t Feel Good When Someone Else Succeeds

Which flavor of envy are you experiencing?

Read More

How Untreated Depression Changes The Brain Over Time

A new study finds that long-term depression may have neurodegenerative effects

Read More

7 Ways Boosting Your Happiness Will Improve Your Finances

A positive outlook can help improve your financial well-being.

Read More

How Does Spontaneous Gratitude Increase Daily Well-Being?

Consistently showing you are grateful can improve your well-being.

Read More

Chronic Pain: Treat it With Mindfulness Meditation, Not Opioids

Alternative measures are being sought in the face of the Opioid Epidemic.

Read More

Watch This NFL Player Turned Entrepreneur Explain How He Keeps Challenges in Perspective

Lights Out Brand founder and CEO Shawne Merriman shares his internal monologue during tough times.

Read More

6 Personal Finance Rules to Live By in Your 40s

There are a lot of changes that typically happen in your 40s. Don’t let them derail your financial goals.

Read More

Former NFL player circled the Earth 374 times as an astronaut. But he may be better known for his dogs.

The lessons and experiences are now being told in Melvin’s memoir.

Read More