Science Expects You To Fail Your New Life

Planning to make a change in your life on January 1st? Don't bother: Statistics and science say that you're pretty much going to fail before you've even started, according to British researchers looking into the success of New Years' Resolutions.

A team of psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire, led by Richard Wiseman, asked hundreds of people about their New Years Resolutions and discovered that 78% of those who made them failed at keeping them. The reason? Wiseman explains:

Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it... If you do it on the spur of the moment, it probably doesn't mean that much to you and you won't give it your all. Failing to achieve your ambitions is often psychologically harmful because it can rob people of a sense of self control.

The way to succeed, Wisemen advises, is to think small: Break your bigger ambition into smaller, more obtainable goals, reward yourself when you fulfill them, and keep measuring success both for yourself and others. Or just give up and stay the same. It's worked for us.


New year's resolutions doomed to failure, say psychologists
[Guardian.co.uk]