Time to Renew New Year's Resolutions

Spring is the perfect time to renew your New Year's resolutions -- or to make new ones.

By Tom Valeo
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Like millions of other Americans, you probably made some New Year's resolutions regarding your health. Maybe you wanted to lose some weight, or exercise more, or quit smoking.

And like the vast majority of Americans who made such resolutions, you probably haven't met your goal. Polls have found that by springtime, 68% of Americans who made a New Year's resolution have broken it. After one year, only 15% claim success.

But don't despair. The secret to self-improvement is persistence, not perfection. Spring is the perfect time to renew your resolutions -- or to make new ones.

"People do it all wrong," says Robert Butterworth, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. "The worst time to make New Year's resolutions is on New Year's Eve. We're exhausted after the holidays. We're stressed out. The weather is bad. Everybody is talking about it and watching what your resolutions are."

Still, at least half of Americans make New Year's resolutions, which is why health clubs, diet programs, and smoking-cessation clinics spend so much on advertising at the end of the year; they know millions of people on Dec. 31 are going to resolve to lose weight and get fit.