Health Team

New Year's resolution quiz: Follow these strategies for success

Posted January 6, 2016 5:00 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2016 6:51 p.m. EST

Making a New Year's resolution is all about making improvements – whether they are to lose weight, quit smoking or get physically fit.

According to WebMD, about 40 percent of people stick with healthy resolution goals until June. A helpful list of questions may help people develop strategies for success.

Question: True or false, it is best to keep your goals quiet to prevent public failure?

Answer: FALSE

Experts say you shouldn't go it alone. Letting others in on your plan, or even including a friend as a workout buddy, increases your sense of accountability and chances at success.

Question: Is it best to pick one thing to change or tackle all the bad habits at once?


It takes time to form bad habits, such as eating too many sweets, so it will take time to turn them around. Success with one goal may generate more confidence to take on others.

Question: Should you expect to slip up?

Answer: YES

Slip-ups don't equal failure. They should be used as a chance to learn about weaknesses. For someone trying to quit smoking, for example, can they really handle being around friends who smoke? If they can't, they should try to avoid those situations.

Question: If you haven't formed a new habit in three weeks, such as replacing sodas with water, should you quit?

Answer: NO

Research shows that creating a new, healthier habit can take up to two months or more, so don't get discouraged if it's not happening faster.

Question: True or false, if you can drop a bad habit, such as favoring high-sodium foods, for just one day a week, it can help you quit for good.

Answer: TRUE

Bypassing bad habits for short amounts of time will help you build confidence that you can let it go for longer periods of time – and eventually permanently.

Other things that can help

Rewards can offer people motivation to continue working toward a goal – whether or not it's a short-term or long-term goal.

Rewards can be a reminder of progress and make things more fun. The larger the goal reached, the larger the reward.