It’s that time of year. That’s right, ‘give up on your resolutions’ season is upon us. So how many of you have made it this long? For those of you that haven’t, did your resolutions last 2 months? 2 weeks? 2 days? The University of Hertfordshire conducted an analysis of 700 people about their strategies for achieving their new year resolutions and found that 78% of people who made new goals failed to achieve them.
So where do we go wrong?
Well, the problem is the timetable. People feel that New Years is the time to set goals, whether or not they feel they are truly ready to change. Making the resolution at the last minute can really backfire because you’re much less likely to be genuinely motivated. This causes us to become dispirited in the process and we end up more despondent than before. This makes it harder to try again because we begin to feel that the obstacle is unsurmountable. ‘I’ve tried to lose weight a dozen times’ we tell ourselves, ‘it’s just something I can’t do.’
How do we turn that thinking around, and how do we give ourselves the best chance of success? Well, the Ben Franklin adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” holds serious weight for those trying to reach goals.
Of the 22% of people who reached their resolution, many tended to have planned their resolutions well in advance (specifically, writing down their goal), broken their goal into smaller steps, rewarded themselves for the achievements, and told their friends about their plans. They also kept themselves focused on the benefits of success and kept a diary of their progress.
Success rate among those who took these simple extra steps increased to 50%!
You can accomplish your goals and you don’t need a calendar to tell you when it’s time. Let you be the one to do that. When you’re ready, sit down and write out your goal. Take it and break it up into smaller achievements and research what has been successful for others, keep in mind that no one knows what’s going to keep you motivated more than you.
“Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.” -Oscar Wilde