Centre for Behaviour Change


Do New Year's resolutions really work?

3 January 2023

January might be a good time to set a new goal.

New Years resolution list

With the holiday season underway, thoughts may soon turn to New Year's resolutions as many seek to eradicate bad habits and establish new and healthier ones. But do New Year's resolutions actually work — and is Jan. 1 the best time for a new goal? 

One phenomenon, dubbed the "fresh start effect," suggests that the new year may be a good moment to make resolutions and changes, because it can act as a "temporal landmark" that gives people a renewed commitment to goals. 

But other factors can also influence the ability to stick to a New Year's resolution, experts told Live Science.

Read more about this contribution from Prof Robert West and Prof Susan Michie to the online publication Live Science: