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  • Writer's pictureMarla Vender, LCSW

Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions were an ancient Roman tradition, and they’re still popular today. While many people make a New Year’s resolution, only about 8-12% of them see it through. Here are some tips to improve your chances of success this year.


Don’t be wishy-washy. A resolution is a commitment to change. Change takes planning and doesn’t happen overnight. If you wish you could quit smoking, you’re expecting something magical to take place. You’re not taking action and you don’t have a plan. Accept that it may not be fun or easy.

Break it Down

Goals are attained through small steps, and those steps should be observable and measurable. If your goal is to lose weight, weighing and measuring your portions is both an observable and measurable step toward your overall goal. If the goal is to think 4 positive thoughts to every 1 negative, that would require a log of how you’re doing to be observable and measurable.

Go Public

Tell people about your goal. Join a group, in person or online, of others who are working toward the same thing. Enlist friends, family, or coworkers to join you in activities related to meeting your goal, or to encourage you along the way.

Nobody’s perfect

Don’t give up if you mess up, and throw everything away at the first mistake. Follow the 80/20 rule. If you’re working on weightloss, eating clean and exercising 80% of the time is more reasonable, and attainable, than 100%, and will protect you from feeling deprived or bored.

Pay Attention

Track your progress. If you’re not doing as well as you like, or if you’ve met your benchmark, make adjustments as needed.


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