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Making New Year’s Resolutions A Near Pointless Exercise

Thinking of starting all over again with the turn of the New Year? Don't bother because making resolutions is a near pointless exercise. Those who fail to live up to their goals become dispirited in the process and more despondent than before.

Most of the people, who failed in their plans turned their attention to the downside of not achieving the target and turned to misleading self-help gurus, which almost appeared to guarantee disaster. Self-help experts frequently recommend many of these ideas but our results suggest that they simply don't work. If you are trying to lose weight, it's not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasise about being slimmer.

If you do it on the spur of the moment, it probably doesn't mean that much to you and you won't give it your all. Failing to achieve your ambitions is often psychologically harmful because it can rob people of a sense of self-control. Those with more realistic and smaller goals had an average success rate of 35 percent, the study found.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman, University of Hertfordshire, and colleagues quizzed 700 people about their strategies for achieving New Year goals. The research further found that those who did fulfil their promises to themselves divided their goal into smaller steps and treated themselves on each of their achievements. Wiseman further cautioned against last minute resolutions that he said were likely to end up in the dump.

Story first published: Thursday, January 7, 2010, 12:13 [IST]
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