Why New Year’s Resolutions Suck And What To Do Instead

As we wrap up another year, many of us look to January as a fresh start. It’s a new year — it feels like a blank slate — and it’s a time when we’re encouraged, at least in the western world and particularly in America, to reflect on our life and to pick a goal to strive for in the coming year — to try to improve something, or maybe kick a negative habit or trait.

I have complicated feelings about New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly because the research is so grim when it comes to achieving them.

I love clients and students to have goals, but I’m a fan of long-term sustainable change. And the statistics on New Year’s Resolutions just don’t bode well for succeeding long-term. 

People start off strong. But a poll conducted just this month by Forbes shows that by April — which is only month four on the path to a New Year’s Resolution — 52% of people have abandoned their goal, with only 6% following through with a New Year’s Resolution by year’s end. 

Also, why do we even set New Year’s Resolutions? Or goals in general? Why are humans compelled to improve ourselves?

And if New Year’s Resolutions aren’t the answer, what is?

In this episode of We Need To Talk With Dr. Darcy Sterling, you’ll find out: 

  • What humans are actually trying to achieve by having a New Year’s Resolution (and what to do instead).
  • Why having a New Year’s Resolution so often results in diminishing incentives to stick to it as we get closer. 
  • The most effective fuel source that you can tap into at any time to increase your momentum when you’re striving for a goal. 
  • The 1 thing to change about yourself in the coming year, if you really care about being happier. 


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