Welcoming the new year for most of the people means deciding new goals of life with happiness and right choices. Starting from scratch at the start of the year offers a fresh start as a clean slate, and most people take this golden opportunity to create a new resolution and draw their goals on their slate. Many take the chance to set a new goal as an attempt to get rid of a bad habit or begin a healthier lifestyle. Although the initial goals and feelings behind deciding resolutions are satisfactory, most people give up on their new year resolution at some point. So how can you assure that you will maintain your resolutions for the entire year?

It's all about how you put on your words while taking a resolution. Rephrasing New Year's resolutions to “I will start that” rather than “I will avoid that” increases your chances of success. Scientists at Stockholm University, Sweden tracked 1066 people with resolutions made at the end of 2017. And those that phrased their promise with “I will start” were more likely to stick to the resolution for the entire year than those saying “I will quit”. How we phrase the sentences for our resolution is crucial in determining whether or not the New Year resolution will be stuck to us. The scientists found that the people are 12% more likely to continue to their resolution for a year using this technique. For instance, avoid making resolutions such as ‘I will quit or avoid alcohol’ and instead say ‘I will only drink the healthful beverages’. It was the world's largest study done on New Year's resolutions. Those who had an “Approach Goal” such as saying ‘I will start‘ instead of ‘I will quit’ were 12% more likely to be successful with their resolutions.

In the study, Less than only 47% of people who said they would either quit or avoid something were successful by the end of the year. And 59% of people who had an Approach Goal were successful. The researchers concluded that the people who are in majority with the approach behaviour can be more successful and can help stop their old bad habits. The study saw three major groups of resolution candidates separated into three groups which were given varying amounts of support. However, the scientists found that the number of support participants received did not matter.

The most popular resolutions were to do with physical health with 33%, weight loss with 20% and change of eating habits with 13%. The author of this study, Professor Per Carlbring explains that in many cases, rephrasing the resolution works.

Willpower and self-control are similarly significant aspects to complete the New Year's resolutions. As Professor Carlbring explains, ‘In many cases, rephrasing your resolution could definitely work’. For instance, if you have a New Year's resolution to quit eating sweet items to lose some weight, you will most likely be more successful in that if you say ‘I will eat fruits and green vegetables several times a day’ instead ‘I will avoid sweets’. Then you can easily replace sweet items with something healthier, which perhaps means you will lose weight and similarly keep your resolution.

Wishing to make a New Year resolution is a good thing, and it is largely encouraged. It gives people something to look forward to and keep working towards. The hidden solution to reach the New Year's resolutions is to turn it into an approachable habit first. Always make sure the habit you prefer is suitable enough to be achievable in real life. And it's totally okay if you slip sometimes, just make sure that you get back on track and keep heading towards your ultimate goal. If you take your resolution as a learning experience, it will maintain you and your goals and make it much more fulfilling when you ultimately achieve it. Even if sometimes the resolutions are not pursued entirely, preparing a resolution and trying your best to achieve it, indicates that you have the understanding and hope in your capabilities to change habits and become a better version of yourself.



  • www.doi.org
  • www.cnet.com
  • www.inspirewellbeing.org