The Biggest New Year's Resolution Mistake Everyone Makes

Tired of your New Year's resolutions failing? Avoid this common mistake.

happy young friends holding up 2020 sparklers at new year's party
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All of those New Year's resolutions about hitting the gym, saving more money, and completely transforming your life are noble, but there's just one issue: People don't tend to stick to them. Research has shown that only 8 percent of people actually achieve their goals in a timely manner! What gives?

As it turns out, there tends to be a common issue among New Year's resolutions. According to experts, the biggest New Year's resolution mistake everyone makes is setting an unrealistic goal and then expecting to achieve it in a short amount of time.

"Many people want change so badly that they create massive, intimidating expectations that are ultimately undoable or overwhelming," says clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, PhD. "As a result, the individual gives up on the resolution altogether—and then feels like a failure. Resolutions are far more sustainable and achievable when approached in a bite-size manner that creates steady, positive change."

So what should your resolution look like? If you want to get in better shape, aim to fit in 15 minutes of exercise a day. If you want to eat healthier, try to add two daily servings of fresh fruits and veggies to your diet.

And if your New Year's resolution is about your dating life, "don't set a resolution to get married if you haven't been in a real relationship in three years," notes therapist and licensed processional clinical counselor Stefanie Juliano. "Joining a dating website and searching for a long-term relationship may be best."

In all areas of life, slow and steady wins the race. If you want to make some real, lasting change this year, make sure to avoid this all-too-common New Year's resolution mistake. Not sure where to begin? Try these 20 Easy New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Stick to in 2020.

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