New Year's resolvers (n = 159) and comparable nonresolvers interested in changing a problem later (n = 123) were followed for six months via telephone interviews to determine their self-reported outcomes, predictors of success, and change processes. The two groups did not differ in terms of demographic characteristics, problem histories, or behavioral goals (weight loss, exercise program, and smoking cessation being the most prevalent). Resolvers reported higher rates of success than nonresolvers; at six months, 46% of the resolvers were continuously successful compared to 4% of the nonresolvers. Self-efficacy, skills to change, and readiness to change assessed before January 1 all predicted positive outcome for resolvers. Once into the new year, successful resolvers employed more cognitive-behavioral processes but fewer awareness-generating and emotion-enhancing processes than nonsuccessful resolvers. Discussion centers on the research and intervention opportunities afforded by the annual tradition of resolutions.
Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.