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2 weeks into 2024, some people have given up on their New Year's resolutions


All right, just two weeks into 2024, some people who made New Year's resolutions are giving up on them.

NICK DIAMOND: My New Year's resolution was to stop shopping, but I broke it after two days.

CALLI HADLER: One of my biggest resolutions this year was to be committed to a morning routine. My resolution lasted approximately zero days.


OK. Nick Diamond from New York and Calli Hadler from Minneapolis are a little earlier than some in breaking those promises to themselves, but they are not alone. A 2020 Ipsos poll found that more than half of people who make a resolution drop it long before the year is over.

AYELET FISHBACH: Most people will give up on their resolutions or their attention will just be on something else, and they will no longer even think about their resolutions.

MARTÍNEZ: Ayelet Fishbach is a motivation scientist with the University of Chicago. She says most resolutions fail because people set goals that are just too hard to keep.

FISHBACH: No one is setting a resolution to watch more TV this year.

INSKEEP: We asked listeners for their tips to strengthen their resolve. Carson Shook is an eighth-grade science teacher who says she taught her students the connection between the feel-good chemicals in your brain and the goals that you set and try to meet. She says setting smaller goals that you can check off along the way gets that dopamine hit to keep momentum. Kind of like that cute little fish Dory in "Finding Nemo."


ELLEN DEGENERES: (As Dory) When life gets you down, you know what you got to do?

ALBERT BROOKS: (As Marlin) I don't want to know what you got to do.

DEGENERES: (As Dory) Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

MARTÍNEZ: Fishbach agrees, calling it a good approach.

FISHBACH: You want to have small wins. We, as people, we're not designed to pursue really long-term goals.

MARTÍNEZ: Another listener, Angela Brad (ph), says that after New Years, she noticed her gym fills up with people who disappear weeks later, perhaps spending too much time neglecting their regular life.

INSKEEP: Fishbach says for success, a goal has to work with your life.

FISHBACH: Life is going to come back and say, hey, what about everything else that you are supposed to do?

INSKEEP: And enjoying your goal is a way to find success.

MARTÍNEZ: So go run that marathon or maybe...


MARTÍNEZ: ...Start with a half marathon. I'll be half as impressed.

INSKEEP: Half is OK.

MARTÍNEZ: I'll be half as impressed.

INSKEEP: It's fine.


(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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