Around 40% of Americans forgo making New Year's resolutions each year simply because only 46% of resolution-makers manage to stick with them until about halfway through the year. However, research shows that making resolutions is beneficial to do, as it is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll actually make change, argues Jared Gilmour of the Wichita Eagle. Sources say that nearly 50% of resolution-makers proactively work toward their goal while only 4% of people who didn’t bother making a resolution saw their desired goal become a reality half a year later. This means that the act of making resolutions helps people take change more seriously and advance from just thinking about it to actively making it happen.
For most people, making New Year’s resolutions is an exercise in futility. This is because the majority of resolution-makers ignore the science behind changing behavior and aspire for goals that are too lofty (“get healthy, live life to the fullest”), says Stephanie Vozza. Without starting small, failure looms. Sources also say that January is the worst time to embark on grand life changes, as it follows stressful family holidays and a shopping season that exhaust most people who don’t have energy left to commit to investing in starting new habits and lifestyles. Instead of telling yourself what you should do, try an anti-resolution list, cutting back on certain, negative things or behaviors that will make your life easier.