Richard Koestner, a researcher at McGill University says "Failing to keep New Year's resolutions is the norm, rather than the exception. We have a limited amount of self-control, and we are creatures of habit. It's very hard to change the way we behave in our everyday lives."

According to an in-depth analysis published in the journal Psychological Inquiry, New Year's resolvers who don't go the distance usually have one, or more, of these three issues:

  • They lack clear, specific aims. Many set ambiguous or conflicting goals, making it difficult to keep focused;
  • They fail to monitor their progress toward the goal. They don't pay attention their behaviour in relation to their aim. And goal pursuit without close monitoring is likely to go awry;
  • They don't have enough self-control to keep pursuing their goals in the face of obstacles and distractions. They fail to alter their typical way of responding, and self-control is a limited resource that can be quickly depleted.

What will you pledge to do differently in 2012? A good portion of Canadians have vowed to lower their debt. We asked some Airdrie residents what their New Year's resolutions will be.

Even if you manage to get your ducks in a row, Koestner says you probably still won't stick to your guns unless the resolution is chosen without outside influences.

Here's a toast to you...may you keep your resolutions for 2012.

Happy New Year!