Feature Archive

In One Year, Out the Other

This year, try giving resolutions a rest and just do your best.

By Neil Osterweil
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Here's a New Year's resolution anyone can keep: Resolve not to make any more New Year's resolutions.

Now, wasn't that easy?

If you're trying to pay down your credit cards, quit smoking, get a new job, find a mate, or shed some excess poundage, abandoning New Year's resolutions won't get you off the hook.

But by setting more realistic goals for yourself and not limiting yourself to a once-a-year, do-or-die, all-out assault on that Everest of debt, those flabby thighs, or the hideous wallpaper you keep meaning to replace, you may find that the finish line isn't so far away after all.

Or as the Rolling Stones put it, "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need."

Popular New Year's Resolutions

According to USA.gov, the nation's official Web portal, Americans commonly resolve every January to:

  • Lose weight
  • Manage debt/save money
  • Get a better job
  • Get fit
  • Eat right
  • Get a better education
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress overall and/or at work
  • Take a trip
  • Volunteer to help others