On the eve of each new year, people commit to making lifestyle changes they believe will usher in personal satisfaction and happiness. But while an entire industry exists to help people meet these pressing goals, most individuals still flounder. How many times can we try to lose weight, quit smoking, cut back on alcohol consumption, or try to find a more suitable purpose in life? One answer: As many times as it takes to get it right.

Lasting change is difficult to achieve because many of our habits are deeply ingrained, and certain core personality attributes may be immutable. But all habits and character traits can be altered to varying degrees. It’s never too late to change and with effort and determination, it is possible to be the person you want to be, or at least someone closer to it.

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