Resolutions are Rubbish

It’s 2017 and I’m sure there are plenty of us thinking about how to improve our lives in a variety of different means for the New Year.

Some might want to be healthier, some may want to be more active and others could be experiencing an overwhelming desire to get those less than spectacular grades up. However there is one very simple flaw with all of this:

New Year’s resolutions do not work.

Now there’s nothing wrong with setting goals for ourselves to make changes in our lives, which lead to healthier, wealthier and downright happier lives. But here’s the thing; these ‘goals’ that we set for ourselves are far too general. For instance, how much weight do I plan to lose? How do I plan to do it? Diet? Exercise? Where? When? Why?

A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as a “2 pounds a week” instead of saying “lose weight”, while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.

So whilst they may have good intentions behind them, New Year’s Resolutions are, in essence, just statements about what you plan to do in the year ahead, and unless broken down with even just a little careful planning, are most likely not going to be fulfilled.

To sum up, if you do have any ‘resolutions’, break them down in to small daily, weekly, or monthly goals and plan ahead:

Who can help me fulfil this?

What am I going to change or do in order to make this successful?

When? – Think of a start and end point for your goal

Where do I plan to implement this plan? Home?  School? The workplace?

And of course before you start to plan all this out,

Why am I doing it?


So if you ask me: frankly, goals are great; but resolutions?