Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, do you keep them? According to a study done in 2014 by the University of Scranton*, only about 8% of Americans were successful in accomplishing their resolutions last year. Many people resolve to do things better when the new year rolls around, but quickly abandon their ideas and fall into the same comfortable patterns they have created.
Why do so many resolutions fail? There are multiple reasons, but a main one is that there is often a lack of planning and making measurable goals surrounding the final outcome. In the study already mentioned, about 1/3 of peoples’ resolutions last year were relationship-related but a significant number of them never got accomplished. Making a lofty goal of “having a happier marriage” or “getting along better with the family” is nice, but destined to fail without smaller goals along the way. Instead of making the focus the end goal, break it down into more manageable, quantifiable ideas like, “go on weekly date nights”, “have monthly game night with the kids”, or “have daily family check-ins”. Committing to these smaller goals makes it easier to achieve the larger goal.
Another reason why resolutions might fail is they are unrealistic. A common resolution is losing weight, however, if someone wants to lose 100 pounds but does not want to change their lifestyle of eating junk food and not exercising, it is very unlikely the weight will just fall off. Putting real work into your vision will help accomplish your goals. This will take determination, dedication, and willingness to change your current patterns. I have read it takes 28 days to break a habit, so it will take 28 days to start forming new ones. Make your resolution realistic and attainable so you lessen the chance of being disappointed or giving up on it because it’s too difficult.
Additionally, you’ll need to be held accountable somehow, so having a friend, family member, or other trusted person to lean on and keep you motivated is key. For instance, if you want to quit smoking, find a friend who wants to do the same or has quit already to help you along the way. It is more likely that your resolution will succeed if you have at least one other person you’ve told about your goals and they are willing to check in with you to make sure you’re following through.
These are just a few ways to ensure making a New Year’s resolution that will succeed for 2015. This year, don’t set yourself up for disappointment with resolutions that will go unfulfilled. If you have the willingness to make a change and the commitment to accomplishing your goals, you can achieve your dreams!
*Study details can be found here: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/