How To Really Stick To A New Year's Resolution

Click to play audio podcast
January 17, 2011


Interview with Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of the book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals




Mike Carruthers:
Why do you think New Year’s resolutions usually fail?


Heidi Grant Halvorson:
Typically we think we’re not reaching our goals for basically because of some sort of fixed ability that we don’t have - so I’m not smart enough, I don’t have enough will power.


Heidi Grant Halvorson

Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of the book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals...


And the reality is that it’s almost never those things it’s almost always actually something that is absolutely changeable. But we’re surprisingly bad at understanding why we sometimes succeed and sometimes fail.


First of all we’re often much too vague about the goal.

So we say things like, “OK, I want to lose weight so I’ll eat less.” Well, eat less of what and how much less? And because we don’t get very specific about the actual behaviors we don’t actually end up doing them.


Research shows that a specific plan, just a simple one, can make all the difference.


That if you just simply tell people, when they’re going to start a New Year’s resolution “I’m going to exercise more” they join a gym and you take half the people and you say, “Ok when and where are you going to exercise and exactly what are you going to do each week? And so they make a very simple plan, they say “I’m going to exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9am”. And then you look at them about 2 months later and the numbers are something usually like 30% of the people who didn’t make a plan are still exercising. And about 90% of the people who did make a plan are still exercising.


To hear the complete unedited interview, click here



  • Length: 2:27 minutes (2.24 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
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