Psychologist offers tips for making your New Year's resolutions stick

Published: Jan. 5, 2019 at 8:43 PM CST
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Whether it's saving money or hitting the gym, New Year's resolutions are easy to make and even easier to break.

Dr. Molly Allen is a psychologist who says most people give up their resolutions before giving their brain enough time to warm up to the idea.

"It takes about 90 days to develop a new habit. If your goal is to develop a new habit then you really have to practice that habit every single day in order for it to become part of your daily routine or a part of your DNA," Allen said.

Some studies say most people won't make it to the 90 days. According to the Statistic Brain Institute, 27 percent of people will abandon their goals within the first week. That number jumps to 31 percent at the end of the two week mark.

U.S News says 80 percent of those resolutions will be gone by the second week of February.

Allen says one of the main reasons people give up on their goals is because they need to be more detailed.

"They're not specific enough. People say oh I'll go to the gym but what does that mean? Like okay I'll go to the gym once a week right now but I'm going to strive to go to the gym twice a week," Allen said.

Some people may have an end goal in mind but Allen says creating a routine in your brain can take more work than you think.

"To build those connections in your brain, you need to give it time and repetition to do that," Allen said. "For a habit, it takes 90 days for that pathway to be laid down and that is just something you do."

Allen says keeping a resolution is hard work but the most important thing is staying away from old habits. Give yourself time to get used to the new changes so it can begin to become normal.