Expert recommends realistic New Year’s resolutions

Eat better, quit smoking, lose weight. Here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions that are running through the heads of many as 2020 knocks on our doors. The best way to keep a resolution is to have a realistic and accessible objective, specifies the president of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec, Dr. Christine Grou.
For example, a person who resolves to lose ten pounds in one year is more likely to succeed than a person who promises to lose 50 pounds in the next three months. The disproportion of the objective as well as the principle of reality means that people do not keep their resolution, indicated the psychologist and neuropsychologist.

“The majority of people will make resolutions that bring them, in psychological terms, to an ideal self. “I’m going to join a gym and I’m going to train five days a week.” That’s what’s unrealistic. That’s what makes people not hold them. It’s too many habits that we want to change at the same time. It is one thing to say that I am going to go to the gym five times a week, it is another thing to say that I am going to go to it every week, “explained Dr. Grou in an interview with Le Droit .

A study from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, found that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions reach their goal. However, it is important not to set “50 resolutions at the same time”, also argued Dr. Grou.


The desire to adopt new lifestyle habits on New Year’s Day is a tradition that dates back a very long time. People set goals on January 1 because it marks the start of a new era and the end of the holiday season.

“We eat more, we drink more, we are on leave. There is a little more excess that occurs during this period, and this is completely normal. Being a human being, he needs to prove that he can regain control. It is as if he owes a debt to himself, “said Grou.

“And the price to pay is the need to regain control over the bridle that we let go,” she added, adding that people then go on a dry diet and join the gym.

Dr. Grou noted that when a person wants to take stock and change something in their life, it is important to do it during a period of reflection following a lull, not in reaction to something. And, no one is forced to wait until January 1 to set goals to achieve, said the president of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec.

“There are 364 other days when we can make resolutions, reflect on our lives and decide to change something,” she said.


A Leger survey conducted in December 2018 revealed that just over a quarter (27%) of respondents in Canada planned to take resolutions for 2019, while 65% of respondents had answered no. Eight percent of people did not know.

The polling firm had also observed that millennials (18 to 34 years old) were the most numerous (45%) wanting to make New Year’s resolutions, and that these intentions diminished as they got older with 25% for the generation X and 17% among Baby Boomers.

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