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In the News

The Psychology of New Year’s Resolutions

Joseph Sparks

3rd January 2017

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? If so, you’re not alone, as around 50 percent of people do.

Interestingly, according to Margot Underwood, Associate Professor of Psychology at Joliet Junior collect, most resolutions share similar elements: “The resolution comes from some kind of self-awareness, that there is a problem you want to resolve,” Underwood said. “It’s about reinventing yourself and saying, ‘Hey, wait a second. I have this problem and I want to change it.’”

Underwood goes on to link these ideas to Humanist Psychologist Carl Rogers, who refers to a tension between congruence and incongruence. However, while humans don’t like being incongruent, only 8 percent of people maintain their New Year’s resolution.

So, what’s the key?

Get S.M.A.R.T, or make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-orientated. So, rather than saying ‘My New Year’s resolution is to get an A in Psychology’ you might want to say ‘I’m going to attend a weekly tutor2u revision webinar’. See what I did there? Click here to sign up for our A-Level Psychology revision webinars.

Joseph Sparks

Joseph is a Subject Advisor for Psychology at tutor2u. He is an experienced Psychology & Music Teacher, Writer, Examiner and Presenter. He is currently completing a Professional Doctorate in Education and is passionate about the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

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