How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions…..


It’s almost that time of the year again!  Yes, it’s nearly New Year, and so the idea of making a resolution or two has probably crossed your mind.  In 59 Seconds, I describe some of the research that I have carried out into how best to keep your resolution….here are my 10 top tips, and a little video….

1) Make only one resolution, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.

2) Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

3) Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.

4) Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions.  Instead think about what you really want out of life.

5) Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based.

6) Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support.

7) Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.

8) Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.

9) Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.

 10) Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether.

So, are you going to make a resolution and, if so, what is it?

39 comments on “How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions…..

  1. Bill36 says:

    After 65 years of making failed resolutions, I made one last one: Never to make another New Year’s Resolution. Now. 19 years later, it’s the only one I’ve ever kept!

  2. Berber Anna says:

    I don’t think so. I’m pretty happy with my life as it is. People do tell me I should exercise more, but I don’t really see the point in randomly running around. I’ll get my exercise when the weather gets better and I get out to photograph things again.

  3. Emma says:

    There are so many things I feel I should achieve that it’ll be hard to pick one. I have trouble making plans – I feel put under pressure when I do that and I don’t feel confident of my chances of reaching my goal. But I’d been thinking already of what I want to do better in the new year, so I’m going to try to follow your 10 steps to see if I can do just one thing to improve my life. I’ll work on getting out and about more.

  4. I shall learn my lines and practice more for next year’s Edinburgh Fringe. What’s yours, Richard?

  5. […] How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions….. ( […]

  6. Mervulon says:

    What a depressing topic.

  7. John Loony says:

    How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions:

    (1) Don’t make any.

    What’s the point? If it is a “good thing to do”, and if you have the self-discipline to stick to it, you should be doing it anyway. If you can’t be bothered, why pretend?

  8. I get very depressed. This time next year I want to be less depressed.

    The steps I am going to take are as follows:

    1. Get more exercise and fresh air by going for a walk every day.
    2. Take photographs every day. Photography always makes me feel better – and I have got a project to do which gives me a purpose.

    Everything else in my life that I want to achieve depends on me not being miserable.

  9. Julia says:

    Last year I picked something easy, posted it on your blog and told several other people about it, and I still haven’t done it. Still three days to go though, so who knows…

    Just saw the gorilla in the xmas lectures btw.

  10. […] gir også noen tips om nyttårsforsetter på bloggen sin, bl.a. om å ha kun ett forsett, fortelle om det til venner og familie, m.m. Share […]

  11. […] How to keep your New Year’s resolutions  – Richard Wiseman (*From Wiseman’s book 59 Seconds – Think a little, change a lot – A scientific guide to getting what you want). GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "333333"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "0066cc"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "f2f7fc"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "ff4b33"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "health"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "books"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "diet"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "useful-stuff"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "philosophy"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "success"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Useful stuff and tagged Philosophy, Success. Bookmark the permalink. ← Science and supernaturalism – what we can and can’t know […]

  12. Narg says:

    #4 pretty much blew it for me. I guess I only have “run of the mill” problems, just like everyone else.

  13. I resolve to write, record and release a song complete with music video for every major holiday this year.

    -Jay Gillespie USL

  14. ladymac says:

    no, never do, haven’t for many years & been much happier.Spoils the festive holiday with lent-like tasks-so very Christian-gave that up at young age,religion that is. Or it could be puritan amer. idea to ruin carefree holiday. Whenever I needed some self improvement found it more effective to start with actual date needed.Hate the whole idea of ruining a holiday with punitive measures.Guess I’m just a happy pagan. Happy New Years all!!!!!!!

  15. […] done by psychologist and author Professor Richard Wiseman showed that those who succeed have certain characteristics in […]

  16. […] resolutions.  The two things that stand out to me in his advice, which can be found summarised here, is to make just 1 resolution to stick to, and to make it […]

  17. […] What factors were common to those who were successful? […]

  18. […] What factors were common to those who were successful? […]

  19. […] What factors were common to those who were successful? […]

  20. […] of advice comes from Richard Wiseman, who has done research on resolutions and sticking to them. “Make only one resolution. Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your […]

  21. […] differences between resolutions that were kept and those that fell by the wayside. You can see a summary of his findings on his website, and get a fuller run down of the research and its findings in his book 59 Seconds […]

  22. […] Richard Wiseman (un nom pareil force déjà le respect) ; pour un résumé de ses idées, voir un article récent de son […]

  23. […] for most of us, our New Year’s resolutions are still fresh and attainable. But according to a 2007 study by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol, 80% of all New Year’s resolutions are not kept. Something over the coming weeks or months will […]

  24. […] the same mistakes twice. Does it seem like you make the same resolutions year after year? This is a recipe for frustration. Try making a different resolution this time. Chances are, you’ll find new energy for […]

  25. […] 也因此,英國心理學家Richard Wiseman很聰明的對新年願望提供了提高成功率的一些建議: […]

  26. […] For some other tips about how to set – and keep – your New Year’s resolutions, from well-known British psychologist Richard Wiseman, CLICK HERE. […]

  27. […] you do decide to embark on any new goals, by the way, you should check out this list of tips from Richard Wiseman, taken from his book “59 Seconds.”  It’s ostensibly about New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s fantastic advice for any […]

  28. […] differences between resolutions that were kept and those that fell by the wayside. You can see a summary of his findings on his website, and get a fuller run down of the research and its findings in his book 59 Seconds […]

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