Many people believe 2016 was one of the roughest years in recent history, and there is widespread eagerness to put its bitterness and rancor behind us. Many of us hope that 2017 will be better on a global, national, and individual level. It won’t be long until we start hearing people sharing their New Year’s Resolutions.

How has that gone for you in the past? Have you been successful at accomplishing all that you hoped to when the clock struck midnight? If so, congratulations! You are one of the rare few. For most people, the resolve wears off within a few days and they quickly find themselves back to their usual habits.

Is there a way to be more successful? Some experts believe there is. One key suggestion is to keep your resolutions private and avoid sharing them with others. Why is that important? Let’s look at some of the reasons:

Approval Rating

Even the most amazing, positive goals can be met with a lack of enthusiasm from others. We are all on our own journeys and something that is important to you may not be to someone else. You may have 98 people cheering you on, but the two who are unenthusiastic about your plans will bother you. If you keep your resolutions to yourself, someone’s perceived lack of approval won’t matter.

Sabotage

Some of your friends and family may not want you to change. They may feel intimidated or even jealous of your goals. Sometimes, those who believe they are being supportive will unconsciously undermine your efforts. Even just having to explain what you are doing for yourself, over and over again, can make it feel like a chore, and that in itself can be self-sabotaging. Avoid derailing your progress by making quiet, gradual changes without a huge announcement.

False Sense of Accomplishment

Some studies have suggested that telling people about your resolutions and having them react by nodding or saying encouraging things can give you a false sense of accomplishment. You may not have even started to change your behavior but your mind could get tricked into think that you’re already on your way to success! It’s science!

Every year, we recommit to improving ourselves, which is a wonderful and positive thing. This year, increase the odds of succeeding by writing your goals in a private journal instead of announcing them on social media or to your loved ones. It could make a huge difference!