In 2020, a Swedish team published a study investigating what resolutions people make when they are free to formulate them, whether different resolutions reach differing success rates, and whether it is possible to increase the likelihood of a resolution’s success by administering information and exercises on effective goal setting. Participants (N = 1066) from the general public were randomized into three groups:

  • active control,
  • some support,
  • and extended support.

The most popular resolutions regarded physical health, weight loss, and eating habits. At a one-year follow-up, 55% of responders considered themselves successful in sustaining their resolutions. Participants with approach-oriented goals were significantly more successful than those with avoidance-oriented goals (58.9% vs. 47.1%). The group that received some support was exclusively and significantly more successful compared to the other two.

The authors concluded that New Year’s resolutions can have lasting effects, even at a one-year follow-up.

This is a truly interesting study generating a lot of truly boring resolutions.

Boring is, however, something that we must avoid on this blog. In an attempt of doing just this, I decided to lodge my tongue in my cheek and formulate my very own resolutions for 2023 in relation to so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) and this blog. I shall:

  1. Never again call a comment or a commentator idiotic.
  2. Never state that chiropractors, homeopaths, osteopaths, naturopaths, or other SCAM practitioners are unethical charlatans.
  3. Never claim that subluxations, meridians, vital forces, etc. are pure fantasy.
  4. Never suggest that the assumptions of homeopathy fly in the face of science.
  5. Never imply that holism, integrative medicine, etc. are just sales gimmicks for crooks to boost their businesses.
  6. Never again demonstrate that a study is fraudulent just because its findings are too good to be true.
  7. Never again utter a critical word about our SCAM-loving sovereign, King Charles.

In case you are puzzled by my resolutions, please consider this: contrary to the above-cited evidence, it has been shown that only 12% of people who make new year’s resolutions will actually keep them. And this brings me to my last (and only realistic) resolution for 2023:

8. I shall not feel tempted to adhere to my New Year’s resolutions.

5 Responses to My 8 New Year’s resolutions for 2023

  • Happy new year, Prof. Ernst… and good luck with those resolutions.
    I find it amazing how much work you put into educating people about the risks of SCAM and the benefits of science, humanism and critical thinking. Hope that you will keep it up in 2023!
    Do you plan to publish another book this year? Every time I open your webpage in my smartphone, I am greeted by the “beautiful” cover model of your last book. I would appreciate it if this image would slide down in the list and be replaced by the cover of your new book. 😉
    Well, this is of course not the main reason that I am asking. I have read four or five of your previous books so far and enjoyed them a lot, so I wondered which topic might be next on your agenda.
    All the best for you and your family & friends for 2023!

    • thanks
      yes, my next book will be out in a couple of months; it is with Springer again – but it is in German. the rather self-explanatory title is VORSICHT HEILPRAKTIKER.
      I have started work on an English book due to be finished in September; I am keeping the subject secret for the moment.

      • A critical inspection of the Heilpraktiker business will certainly be a valuale contribution, I can only hope that German politics will read the book, finally akt accordingly and remove this idiotic & misleading “profession” from our country.
        Now I am of course extra curious about the second book, looking forward to both!

  • Happy New Year!

    I was getting seriously worried as I read your list of alleged resolutions 🙂 The thought passed briefly by, that this time you had lost your marbles 😀

    I see that your next book is already available for pre-order in paperback on and will come out on April 23. I enjoyed labouring through much of Alternativmedizin – was hilft, was schadet and practise reading German. I also learned how to use google translate with the phone-camera to help with the difficult parts.
    Do you know if they will publish Vorsicht Heilpraktiker in Kindle format? – It might be easier to read via the translator. If not I will order the paperback. I have some of your books in both formats.

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