If you look at Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’re almost guaranteed to see at least one post about someone’s New Year’s resolution. Around 43% of Americans make resolutions each year, but only 8% of people actually achieve them.

I fall under the category of people who don’t stick to their New Year’s resolutions.  It’s not because I make them and don’t stick with them, though. I simply don’t make New Year’s resolutions, and here’s why.

I Refuse to Set Myself Up for Failure

I’m not great with self-control. Need proof? Check out my attempt to do Beyonce’s Lemonade Diet. Whenever I’ve made resolutions in the past, I’ve generally given up within the first month.

I’ve tried the typical, ambitious resolutions like completely changing my diet to something healthier, or working out every single day. I’ve tried some pretty underwhelming resolutions, too, like simply trying to spend less money, eating a little more healthily (basically, cutting down on pizza and candy), or going to the gym once a week. None of those have worked out either.

cream, sweet, vegetable
Anna Arteaga

Since I'm not the only one who struggles with making and keeping resolutions, I thought I'd see if there was any science to explain why it's so hard to stick to them. It turns out, our brains are wired to work against us. 

According to one study, our brains are built to pay more attention to things that were rewarding or pleasing in the past. That can explain why you always crave junk food when you're trying to diet. 

Setting and Achieving Goals Shouldn't Be a Once-a-Year Thing

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions that are forgotten in a month, I set smaller, more realistic goals and track them. I make to-do lists every single day to keep myself on task. I reward myself for small victories.

These smaller goals may not seem as satisfying as fulfilling an ambitious New Year's resolution, but the reward of achieving small goals adds up. It certainly beats the immense disappointment I feel every time I don't stick to my resolutions. Plus, these smaller goals almost always add up to a bigger accomplishment.