The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 1, 2014

10 resolutions you might fail at this year

By Alexandra Nicolas
CNHI News Service

— Lose weight.

Stop smoking.

Get out of debt.

These are some of the most common, and therefor the most failed, New Year's resolutions, with 45 percent of Americans starting out the year with new commitments and only eight percent achieving their goals.

In Time.com's piece, Why New Year's Resolutions Are Bad for You, writer Jessica Lamb-Shapiro looks at the history of New Year's resolutions, how they set you up to fail and what you can do to acheive sucess.

"When you tie your behavioral change to a specific date, you rob yourself of an opportunity to fail and recover, to 'fail better,'" she writes.

According to the University of Scranton's Journal of Clinical Psychology, the 10 most popular resolutions are:

1. Lose Weight

2. Get Organized

3. Spend Less, Save More

4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest

5. Stay Fit and Healthy

6. Learn Something Exciting

7. Quit Smoking

8. Help Others in Their Dreams

9. Fall in Love

10. Spend More Time with Family 

Goals like "lose weight" are abstract and lack concrete steps to take, resulting in diminished motivation and eventual failure. Instead, resolve to take specific steps to achieve broader goals, like "exercise three times per week."