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Reutin: Why your New Year’s resolution is doomed to fail

(Photo: Creative Commons/Mike Wu)

Forget about making New Year’s Resolutions — they don’t work, and here’s why.

Nearly 80 percent of us are going to make at least one resolution, and they’re often big goals: Lose weight, spend less, stop smoking, text less, exercise more. But research shows that only 8 percent of the people who make New Year’s resolutions will fulfill their goals.

By Jan. 12, the data show we’ll likely give up in frustration. We’ll feel like a failure, we’ll give up trying, and stick with our bad habits until the next new year.

To change a habit, you have to create a new one. You have to get very specific. For example, I’m going to eat an apple a day. I won’t drink sugary soda today. Or, I’m going to add 10 minutes or 2,000 steps to my daily walk.

You also have to make the new action easy to do for at least the first week. Don’t say you’re going to lose five pounds the first week of January, or you’re going to give up all texting, because if you don’t succeed that first week, you’ll throw in the towel and set yourself back even further.

Instead of stating unrealistic goals, think of Jan. 1 as just another day in the calendar. You can reset your calendar every day for a fresh start.

Listen to the Candy, Mike and Todd Show weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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