While January 1 can feel like an arbitrary date to set new intentions and goals, most people make them—and 80 percent of those people fail by February. That statistic sounds discouraging, but Gretchen Rubin, author of multiple books on happiness and habits including her newest book, The Four Tendencies, says she still believes taking on New Year's resolutions is a good idea for most people.
"Having a catalyst for self-reflection is so helpful," she explains. "It's very easy to just be managing your day-to-day and not step back, and for most people January 1 feels like a clean slate—everybody's talking about it. If it bugs you and you object to it, maybe you make it your birthday or the summer solstice. But most people need a catalyst."
If you're one of the many people who made New Year's resolutions this year, here's how you can actually keep them.