Fortunately, there are ways to actually succeed this time.
The American Psychological Association recommends starting small and tackling one behavior at a time. It also helps to talk about your resolutions, and if you mess up, try not to beat yourself up.
"Don't give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet," the association counseled.
Norcross divided the process of keeping resolutions into five steps. First, psych yourself up before the end of the year: make realistic goals and establish confidence that you can reach them. Then, in January, get going — limit your exposure to high risk situations (after Christmas sales, perhaps?) and track your progress. It is also a good idea to reward your successes, he said.
After the first few weeks, when determination is flagging, Norcross recommended creating supports like a buddy system and preparing a plan to deal with inevitable slips. And the more specific your goal are, the better, he said.
"Vague goals prompt vague behavior," he said. To change financial behaviors, "break it down into pay periods." Those steps could include committing to automatically save a certain amount or to enroll in automatic deductions for retirement plan contributions.