Resolutions are meant to help us improve our lives, but they are notoriously difficult to keep. An easy way to increase the odds that you will succeed is to word your resolutions in a way that makes you more likely to follow through with them. Use positive language to help maintain a positive attitude about your resolutions. Instead of saying “don’t,” “reduce,” or “stop,” focus on positive wording like “I’ll do” or “I’ll improve” to keep a positive perspective on improving your life. The study that suggests that positive wording can improve resolutions results was conducted by researchers at Stockholm University and Linkoping University. Participants were put into one of three groups:
- Those who did not receive support to reach their goals
- Those with limited support
- Those who received considerable support
They then contacted the subjects every month for the next year. The support system in place didn’t have as much of an effect as researchers expected. To the surprise of the researchers, the way the resolutions were worded did help determine how well a person stuck to their resolutions. The participants who made their resolution into a goal had a success rate of 59%. Those who posed their resolutions as a way to avoid behaviors had a success rate of 47%.