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

This One Thing Makes You a Nicer Person

Be more aware of what’s happening in the present moment.

Read More

Five Mistakes People With Depression Make

Ways people with depression self-sabotage and some highly practical solutions.

Read More

Top Ten Tips for a Healthier Brain in 2018

How to improve your mood, energy, and concentration by Valentine’s Day

Read More

The Rise and Fall of Craving

There are many forms of addiction, and they all can be difficult to break.

Read More

The Courage to Chase Your Dreams

In the latest installment, we focus on going after what you desire.

Read More

You can negotiate your college tuition. Here's how.

Are your kids starting to look at colleges?

Read More

Middle-aged can reverse heart risk with exercise, study suggests

A new study out of Texas shows signs of reversing negative heart conditions.

Read More

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we honor greatness with acts of kindness and charity.

Read More