Don’t Make New Year Resolutions…Make A Behavior Change!

by Brooke on January 4, 2011

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It is now the forth day of the New Year and many individuals have already given up their New Year Resolutions. 

Why can’t I keep my resolutions you may ask yourself? For starters, your approach is all wrong.  Don’t approach a healthy lifestyle as a provisional task you only make to break.  A healthy lifestyle needs to be practiced everyday.  It doesn’t take a vacation for ten months out of the year and still make enough money to pay rent. 

A study was published in Addictive Behaviors on New Year Resolutions a while back.  The study was conducted by J. Norcoss, A. Ratzin, and D. Payne from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Their research showed that readiness to change and self-efficacy positively affected their participants’ success.   Results also showed that individuals that used behavioral strategies and reported less self-blame and wishful thinking were also more successful at keeping their resolution. 

You have to be ready to make the commitment, to make a behavior change, and not just wish for the changes to happen without any work!  Your best bet at keeping your resolution…is to not make it a resolution.  It takes six months to make a behavior change a habit.  If you want to lose weight, you have to workout and eat healthy daily until it becomes second nature and that may take a while if you have had your old habits for a very long time.

Don’t make excuses for a failure and quit.  Keep working on your behavior until you are successful!

What is one behavior you are planning on changing in 2011?

Photo courtesy of Dawn-Ritchie.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren Slayton January 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Oh my, you’re right people have likely already jumped ship on some goals. “Self efficacy” is a good point. There’s so much negativity regarding weight and health and sticking to goals. People need to level with themselves about their reasons and then “cheerlead” for themselves to keep working at things.


Brooke January 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Great use of words Lauren! If more people “cheerlead” for their hard work and small accomplishments along the way, maybe they would feel more success and stick with their behavior changes.


Ariel Ferreira January 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm

If I choose one behavior to change, does this decision count as a resolution? :)


Brooke January 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Yes Ari! I will let it count as both as long as your goal is long term 😉


Trina Robertson, MS, RD January 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Brooke, I like the emphasis on behavior change. Self-efficacy, or having the confidence to make a change, is so important. It is believing in yourself that you can make a change that is so important. Too many times people set goals are overwhelming that they give up so small steps is key. I would also add on social support of friends and family as another factor to successful change. My goal for 2011 is to teach my boys to cook. If they’ll cook it I hope that they will eat it too! Healthy Regards, Trina


Brooke January 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Hi Trisha, Thank you for stopping by! Hopefully, your boys will like what they make and so will you :) Best in 2011!!!


Ashley Rosales, RD January 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Great post Brooke! It is so true that the approach most people take when making healthy changes is one that is destined for failure. I love that you share an alternative approach that focuses on changing your beliefs and behaviors in order to make successful changes. This is advice anyone can benefit from no matter what goals they have in mind. Throughout the month of January our blog series on will be focusing on a New Year, New Approach. I hope you can check it out and share your comments, input, etc. My behavior goal for this year is to get outside more with my one-year old son. He loves being outdoors and being active and I want to make this a priority for us. Rainy, cold weather is not going to deter us…I bought us all some good rain gear!


Brooke January 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Thanks Ashley! I will definately stop by your blog. Great behavior goal! It is also nice, that it is a goal that both you and your son can enjoy :)


Fit Chick in the City January 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Great post! It’s so true wishing doesn’t get us anywhere in life, we have to do something!


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