Ten Science-Backed Tips For Actually Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions This Time

This year it's for real. Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock

Katie Spalding 28 Dec 2018, 18:47

As the old saying goes, “new year, new me”.

Or perhaps this variation is more your style? “Ok, this year I really, definitely, absolutely will lose 20 pounds, learn French, and start volunteering at the homeless shelter. I swear. No, I know I said the same thing last year, but this time I really mean it.”

Turning over a new leaf can be difficult. No matter how sure you are of success, the chances that you’ll end 2019 as some karate-kicking, Hungarian-speaking, well-rested non-smoker are only about one in 10. It’s enough to make you give up altogether – which is exactly what nearly one-third of people did at the beginning of this year.


But if one in 10 people can do it, so can you. All you need is some science-backed tips to help you along the way – and, thanks to psychologist (and quirkologist) Professor Richard Wiseman, we have just that.

Good luck!

Richard Wiseman’s Tips For New Year’s Resolution Success

  1. Don’t take on too much

“Make only one resolution,” Wiseman explains. “Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.”

  1. Mull it over

“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,” he says.

  1. Keep it fresh

“Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment,” he explains. If you must revisit a previous resolution, try a different approach – ditch “lose ten pounds” for “exercise more,” for instance.

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