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Why New Year’s resolutions might be bad for your relationship

The impact of some resolutions on the harmony between couples has been called out by psychologist Beth Sloan. Sloan works in Bergen County, New Jersey, U.S. Interviewed by The New York Post, Sloan explains her concerns.

Resolutions should be avoided because “they cause so many fights.” The psychologist explains further, adding “I’ve had patients come to my office during couples’ counseling trying to force the other one to make a New Year’s resolution — or to not make one.”

Reasons cited for causing friction include changing jobs, renovating properties and where one couple wishes to lose weight but isn’t supported by the other. With the weight loss this often leads to jealousy, since one partner suddenly starts to spend more time at the gym than with the other person.

Moreover, for many, the cold weather, lack of sunlight, and dealing with seasonal depression make winter a tough time for many, without the added pressure of sticking to New Year’s resolutions.

Is there an alternative to making resolutions? Try intentions. This is the idea put forward by Sonya Frazier, a licensed mental health counselor based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. , who spoke with ABC News. “A New Year’s resolution is not really a plan or anything that you can really put into practice, by definition,” Frazier clarifies. “That’s why people haven’t been successful.”

Instead she recommends setting smaller, more specific goals. The chance of success is higher if you set key points or moments in time to remind yourself about the goal and regularly reflect on the progress being made.

For those intending to push ahead with resolutions, what are set to be the most popular in 2017. According to the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion (as told to Yorktown Patch) these are:

1. Being a better person (which replaces ‘weight loss’ from the 2016 to spot);
2. Exercise more;
3. Weight loss;
4. Spending less money;
5. Saving more money;
6. Improving one’s health;
7. Eating more healthily.

Perhaps not too surprising. If these are similar to yours, how long will they last for?

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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