The Fresh-Start Effect

One of our favorite resources in Marriage and Relationship Education is the Parrotts…Les and Leslie. They pioneered teaching relationship education at the University level at Seattle Pacific University in 1992. Since then they have blessed millions with their speaking, writing, and educating. Here’s a great article and a resource as you launch out in 2023.
When people want to change something in their lives, they often begin at a major milestone – a new semester, a birthday, or of course, the granddaddy of them all: the New Year. Researchers call it “the fresh-start effect.” 

In fact, U.S. polls reveal that 44% of us report being likely or very likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2023. Quick side-note: Americans are much more likely to lean into this fresh-start effect than others. For example, only 18% of people in Sweden are likely to make a New Year’s resolution. What is the most popular resolution? You guessed it – weight loss. And as you might know, after just one month only 55% of those who make a resolution are still keeping it. So what does research say about how to increase our resolve going into the new year? What do we know for sure that can help us succeed – whatever our resolution might be? Well, according to the largest study on New Year’s resolutions to date, people who create resolutions that ADD behaviors rather than ERASE them are more likely to maintain them for a year. 

It’s a slight shift that tweaks how you phrase the resolution in the first place — changing “I will quit or avoid” to “I will start to.”For example, if a couple shares a resolution to “have less conflict,” they’re far less likely to fulfill that resolution than if they were to exchange it for “complimenting each other every day.”

See the difference? The first is ERASING a behavior and the second is ADDING a behavior.  So at this fresh-start mile-marker, we are sending you prayers and well wishes for a great 2023.Warmly,
Les and Leslie Parrott