New Year's Resolutions


New Year’s resolutions are full of clichés and empty promises but a clinical psychologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has some sound advice that might just help a little.

“I think most people make resolutions that they don’t achieve for many reasons, often because they seem so overwhelming,” said William McCann, PsyD, director of behavioral science education in Wake Forest Baptist’s family medicine department. “So, from a psychological perspective we should make resolutions that we are sure to be able to follow through on. While it seems counter intuitive, we should lower our expectations because we want to be able to say to ourselves by next Dec. 31st – ‘I did it!’”

McCann’s sample list of attainable New Year’s resolutions:

  • “I will eat a little less fried food this year.”
  • “I will drive a little more slowly this year.”
  • “I will help others a little more this year.”
  • “I will interfere in my children’s lives a little less this year.”
  • “I will talk a little less and listen a little more.”
  • “I will smile a little more this year.”
  • “I will be a little better person than I was last year.”

“Doing a little bit is like a seed that might grow,” McCann said. “Start little and see what happens.”

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