Of all the people who make New Year’s resolutions, more than half will drop them by Jan. 17, which is commonly referred to as “Ditch Day.”
But mental health experts say that there might be a reason for it if you’re giving up.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, Sarah Possenti has seen and heard it all.
“I just don’t throw much out- I don’t believe in cutting out an entire food group unless you’re allergic to it- and that’s what a lot of people are doing when they jump on these trendy diets.”
She’s been a chef and food stylist for more than a decade. It’s her job to make the food you see on TV look pretty. So, as you might imagine, people ask her about food and diets and fads and trends all the time.
“I think a great New Year’s resolution and one I was able to stick to one year- was cut out all fast food and I think that’s a great resolution and one that people could sustain- or cutting out high-fat coffee- that’s more habit changing.”
People make all kinds of resolutions, both big and small, said Dr. Scott Wiener, a mental health expert in the Pacific Northwest.
“New Year seems to be this phenomenon this period of change- well, why not, I’m motivated I’m excited I can make a difference in my life. Like all good plans, if you don’t have a proper road map to get there, things don’t often work out.”
Dr. Wiener says that you have to truly understand yourself and be prepared for the obstacles that will challenge you or cause you to break your own goals for you to stick to your resolutions.
"What makes you think the way you think, feel the way you feel- you can utilize that information as a guide- the thing that helps you know you’re doing the right thing for yourself.”
Modern science led the mental health world to something called the “Genomind Mental Health Map.”
"What that looks at are numerous genetic variations. We call them predispositions because they tell you more about your biological makeup," Dr. Wiener said. "Why are you an over thinker, why are you a worrier, why do you procrastinate- well, here’s the science that backs up the symptom.”
“The mechanic doesn’t say 'oh, well, it sounds like this, give me money I’ll fix it, he says I’ll look under the hood,'" Dr. Wiener said. "And that’s the problem in mental health; people don’t have the opportunity to take a look under the hood.”
He says a New Year should give you the motivation to figure out what works for you to set yourself up for success.
Be it quitting smoking, losing weight, or making better financial decisions.
Dr. Wiener said to keep in mind that no goal is too big or impossible, as long as you have a plan to get there.