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Fall 2015 Edition

Tips for New Year's Resolution Success

According to a University of Washington survey, 63% of the people questioned were still keeping their number one New Year's resolution after two months. The keys to making a successful resolution? The researchers say a person's confidence that he or she can make the behavioral change and the commitment to making the change, are most important. In addition, the study indicates that successful resolutions are a process, not a one-time effort. Respondents to the survey reported that persistence can pay off. Of the people who successfully achieved their top resolution, only 40 percent of them did so on the first attempt. The rest made multiple tries, with 17 percent finally succeeding after more than six attempts.

Resolution mistakes

According to the University of Washington researchers, the following are sure-fire ingredients for resolution failure:

  1. Not thinking about making a resolution(s) until the last minute.
  2. Reacting on New Year's Eve and making your resolution(s) based on what's bothering you or what is on your mind at the time.
  3. Framing your resolution(s) in absolute terms, such as "I will never do X again."

Tips for resolution success

The survey researchers offer the following tips to help you attain your New Year's resolutions:

  1. Have a strong initial commitment to make a change.
  2. Have coping strategies to deal with problems or obstacles that are sure to come up.
  3. Keep track of your progress. The more monitoring you do and the more feedback you get, the better you'll do.

Take credit for success when you achieve a resolution, say the researchers, but it is a mistake to blame yourself if you fail. Instead, the researchers say, look at the barriers that were in your way. See how you can do better the next time and figure out a better plan to succeed. You do get to try again and can make behavior changes throughout the year, not only at New Year's.


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Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to provide medical advice on personal wellness matters. Please consult your physician for medical advice.