Keeping a New Year’s Resolution

Many people make new year’s resolutions at the start of the year. The new year begins with January which is named after the Roman God Janus. Janus is represented with two faces – one looking into the future and the other looking into the past. The ancient Romans treated the start of the year as a time to look ahead and would behave on the first day of the year as they intended to for the rest of the year. While there are many common themes for resolutions many people expect their enthusiasm and commitment to fade over time. There are a number of research findings which can guide people in keeping their new year’s resolutions.

Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham look at implementation intentions and mental contrasting.

Psychologist Professor Wray Herbert wrote an interesting review of a study looking at the effect of using different phrases to guide intentions

Psychologist Jeremy Dean looks at #10 approaches to keeping new year’s resolutions including repetition and replacement strategies.

In this article, neuroscientist Johan Lehrer looks at the factors affecting willpower including distraction and training.

The American Psychological Association has an interesting article on wanting what you want to want (see review here)

Educational psychologist Kendra Cherry gives a brief overview of the subject with links to further introductory resources.

With lots of approaches, there is no guarantee that resolutions can be maintained but there are many ways of trying.

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