Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Time to Renew New Year's Resolutions

Spring is the perfect time to renew your New Year's resolutions -- or to make new ones.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Like millions of other Americans, you probably made some New Year's resolutions regarding your health. Maybe you wanted to lose some weight, or exercise more, or quit smoking.

And like the vast majority of Americans who made such resolutions, you probably haven't met your goal. Polls have found that by springtime, 68% of Americans who made a New Year's resolution have broken it. After one year, only 15% claim success.

But don't despair. The secret to self-improvement is persistence, not perfection. Spring is the perfect time to renew your resolutions -- or to make new ones.

"People do it all wrong," says Robert Butterworth, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. "The worst time to make New Year's resolutions is on New Year's Eve. We're exhausted after the holidays. We're stressed out. The weather is bad. Everybody is talking about it and watching what your resolutions are."

Still, at least half of Americans make New Year's resolutions, which is why health clubs, diet programs, and smoking-cessation clinics spend so much on advertising at the end of the year; they know millions of people on Dec. 31 are going to resolve to lose weight and get fit.

Springtime Advantages

Spring, however, is a better time to set such goals, according to Butterworth.

"The weather is getting better," he says. "It's a less stressful time; we feel more energized."

Spring is also an ideal time to reassess your resolutions and modify your strategy for success, according to psychologist Stephen Kraus, PhD. Kraus is the author of Psychological Foundations of Success: A Harvard-Trained Scientist Separates the Science of Success from Self-Help Snake Oil.

"I do it quarterly," Kraus says. "One of the goals my wife and I set this year was to get back into meditation. We got off to a pretty good start in January, but one thing led to another and we fell out of the habit. Now we're coming up to the end of March -- the end of the first quarter. So it's time for us to look at our goals and make plans for the second quarter. And we're going to recommit ourselves to that goal."

Ultimately, Kraus says, success depends on two things -- desire and the right strategy. The trick, therefore, is to renew your desire to achieve your goal and keep modifying your strategy until you succeed.

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections