Ah, the power of New Year’s to swell hopes and ignite ambitions! Perhaps it’s the champagne. Or maybe it’s that sway of public sentimentality at midnight. Whatever the case, New Year’s is synonymous with resolution-making, and surveys show that health related pledges consistently top the list. Of course, we all bring our best intentions to the new year, but why do so many of us crash and burn once the rubber meets the road?
Some years ago, researchers at the University of Washington studied the sticking power of resolutions and what seemed to make the difference for those who were still on track three months later. Their study, an oldie (1997) but a goodie, offered some commonsensical wisdom that we could all stand to hear again: