Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size
A
A
A

In One Year, Out the Other

This year, try giving resolutions a rest and just do your best.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Here's a New Year's resolution anyone can keep: Resolve not to make any more New Year's resolutions.

Now, wasn't that easy?

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

5 Ways Music Helps the Mind

By Serusha Govender Your brain loves music like Willy Wonka loves chocolate. No, really, it does. Let’s paint a picture of your brain on music: While sound drifts through your auditory pathways, pitch registers in the language center, rhythm rockets through the motor regions, and the rest of your brain chips in to puzzle out tune, predict melody, connect it to memory and decide whether or not you want to buy it on iTunes. "Your brain lights up like a Christmas tree when you listen to music," says...

Read the 5 Ways Music Helps the Mind article > >

If you're trying to pay down your credit cards, quit smoking, get a new job, find a mate, or shed some excess poundage, abandoning New Year's resolutions won't get you off the hook.

But by setting more realistic goals for yourself and not limiting yourself to a once-a-year, do-or-die, all-out assault on that Everest of debt, those flabby thighs, or the hideous wallpaper you keep meaning to replace, you may find that the finish line isn't so far away after all.

Or as the Rolling Stones put it, "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need."

Popular New Year's Resolutions

According to USA.gov, the nation's official Web portal, Americans commonly resolve every January to:

  • Lose weight
  • Manage debt/save money
  • Get a better job
  • Get fit
  • Eat right
  • Get a better education
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress overall and/or at work
  • Take a trip
  • Volunteer to help others

The Web site doesn't cite the sources for these popular New Year's resolutions, nor do they offer statistics on how often they are broken. But as the poet Robert Burns, author of "Auld Lang Syne," famously observed, "The best laid plans o' mice and men [often go astray]."

"The cycle is deprive yourself, and then binge and make up for it," says Elizabeth Zelvin, LCSW, an online therapist who helps people with eating disorders.

"New Years after New Years, millions of Americans make a resolution to go on a diet, and a diet is a way of eating that feels so depriving that you can hardly wait to get to the end of it so you can go back to doing what you did before," she tells WebMD.

Some resolution-makers last a week keeping their New Year's resolutions, and some stick it out all the way to Feb. 1, but very few manage to achieve their goal weight, Zelvin says.

As a therapist, Zelvin also deals with people who have substance abuse problems, and she says that the principles of 12-step programs are practical and effective guides to living, especially with their emphasis on setting attainable goals.

"'One day at a time' is the antithesis of making New Year's resolutions," she says. "It's not saying, 'I'm going to do this and keep it up all year,' it's saying, 'What can I do today?'"

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
 
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
 
Take your medication
Slideshow
Hand appearing to hold the sun
Article
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Slideshow
 
Woman worn out on couch
Article
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
Article
laughing family
Quiz