Hundreds of thousands of people will make a New Year’s resolution - maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less - but only one in 10 will actually achieve their goal.
Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked 5,000 people as they attempted to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
His team found that those who failed tended not to have a plan, which made their resolution soon feel like a mountain to climb.
The key factor which differentiated the 10% that succeeded in achieving their goals and the 90% who did not was that they broke their goals into smaller goals that were specific, measurable and time-based.
Dr Guy Mansford, chief clinical officer for NHS Nottingham West Clinical Commissioning Group, welcomes Professor Wiseman’s research:
“There is no bad time to commit to improve your health. The New Year seems to add a little more pressure to that challenge.
“If it means long term goals are more likely then scale down your resolutions or just have one and make it sustainable.
“The most common goal is for people to want to lose weight. There really is one golden rule which puts all advice and diets into perspective. Move more, eat less. Whatever you choose to do. Make it a lifestyle change not a temporary fix.”
If you intend to make a resolution this year, take a few minutes to read the top 10 goal-setting tips which can be found on the NHS Choices website.
NHS Choices also offers great advice on losing weight, quitting smoking, getting active, drinking less alcohol and eating more fruit and veg.