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Helping Granite Staters Keep Their New Year's Resolutions

Millions across New England and the nation made New Year's resolutions to get healthy in 2017. (MarketingNCC/Wikimedia).
Millions across New England and the nation made New Year's resolutions to get healthy in 2017. (MarketingNCC/Wikimedia).
January 2, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. – About 4 in 10 people make New Year's resolutions, but only a tiny fraction actually keep them.

The top pledges center around health – losing weight, eating better, exercising more or quitting a bad habit such as drinking too much or smoking. Others include getting organized, saving money, spending more time with loved ones or living life to the fullest.

Research psychologist Frieda Birnbaum says people often fail to keep promises because they make them too hard.

"Resolutions need to be easier,” she states. “We need to be more specific. If we make it doable, then it is doable."

Birnbaum says set a time to go to the gym, don't just promise to do it during a busy day. She says make it a routine. For example, set a time to work out each day, and she says it will be easier to stick to that resolution.

Birnbaum says it's more likely people will stick to their guns if they don't let everyone know what they plan to do.

"Unlike what research tells you that you should tell your friends about it so you can have support, I have found that it's better not to tell anybody about it, so you don't have other opinions in your way and you can just move at your own pace," she explains.

Birnbaum says people also make resolutions to lose weight for the wrong reasons.

"Women are very, very into looking as good as they can, being as thin as they can,” she states. “But it doesn't mean being as happy as you can, so we have to have perspective over our values."

Statistics show that by the end of this month, about two thirds of those who made pledges will still be hanging in there. However, six months later that number drops to just over 40 percent.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH