It’s that time of year –
the holiday dinner has been reduced to leftovers, the mid-day nap is over and you’re
taking stock of your life. If you’re like most people, you’re probably going to
resolve to do a few things differently in 2013. Just like you did in 2012. And
in 2011. And in 2010.
But why? Why do people
like to make New Year’s resolutions? What’s the point? We asked Lisa Hensley,
psychology department chair at Texas Wesleyan University, to explain what it is
about New Year’s resolutions that appeals to us, and why we’re so compelled to
keep making them.
“The end of the year
involves taking stock,” Hensley said, “and looking at things in your life that
are working well, things that maybe aren’t working so well … and using that to
look forward to the next year.”
Your brain loves
People tend to look back
on the year and then plan what can be better about next year. “It propels
people to evaluate what’s been going on and what’s been happening to them and
to look forward to the New Year,” Hensley said.
Some resolutions are
more popular than others
Hensley says the top three New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, getting
organized and spending less money. These aren’t bad goals, but unless you
develop a plan to meet them, you may be making them again in 2014.
Make a plan to meet your
Having a date or milestone
to achieve your resolution helps you focus on achieving it. Be developing a
plan, you’re more likely to meet your goal, and to make adjustments along the way
if you aren’t.