How to keep our New Year’s resolutions: Seven science-based strategies
In his Daily Article today, Dr. Jim Dennison writes:
Researchers say about 60 percent of us make resolutions each new year. That’s a remarkable figure. It’s higher than the percentage of Americans who vote in presidential elections or the percentage of Americans ages eighteen and older who are married.
However, researchers report that only about 8 percent of us are successful at keeping the resolutions we make. How can we do better? Here are seven science-based strategies:
- Pick a theme for your year based on what changes would make you happiest, then develop habits during the year to fulfill it.
- Enhance habits by identifying what motivates them and finding better ways to meet that underlying need.
- Begin forming a habit by working on it for only two minutes, then gradually increase your commitment.
- Identify a positive, intrinsic reward (such as renewed energy or a feeling of peace) to reinforce positive actions and habits.
- Modify your environment—post reminders of your plans, remove temptations, and spend time with people who share your goals.
- Make a recovery plan for dealing with temptations and failures.
- Celebrate often since such behavior reinforces good habits and encourages the brain to seek more opportunities to engage in them.
A final reminder from the “Unknown Punster:” It’s officially New Year’s Eve, you only have a couple of hours to do all the things you will resolve not to do in the New Year. :-)
And from Barb and me: We hope you and yours had a Christ-centered, warm-memory-creating, family-filled Christmas and have a most Blessed New Year!