It’s that time of year and many of us are already thinking about what our New Year’s resolution (or resolutions) will be for 2016. But, how many of us have actually kept or even met our goals in years passed? According to statisticbrain.com, here are some percentages that may surprise you. Or perhaps not.
- Percent of Americans who usually make a resolution – 46%
- Percent of Americans who absolutely never make a resolution – 38%
- Percent of people who are successful in meeting their goal – 8% (how sad)
- Percent of people who fail or never succeed with a resolution – 24%
For those people who do make resolutions, why do we struggle to reach our goal? One reason we struggle is because we set multiple goals to achieve. And trying to change a negative behavior for each goal, especially if it’s a challenging one, can be very overwhelming. So the answer to this problem is to only pick one goal. Yep, just one!
The second reason many of us fail at reaching our resolution goal is because we set the goal (or goals) too high or they are too unrealistic. For example, if someone needs to lose weight, they may automatically set their goal at an unreasonable target (lose 50 pounds in two months) even though they don’t currently exercise. Of course they are going to fail! Even for someone who does exercise on a routine basis, setting an unreachable target will just lead to defeat, disappointment and a higher chance that they won’t even try again in the future.
So, what’s a better way to set a reasonable goal? First, think about the behavior or habit you’re trying to change or stop and the reason why you want to make the change. Second, what does your ultimate result or goal look like? Third, what are some transitional targets you can meet to get you to your ultimate result/goal? Fourth, consider your timeline. Remember, if you are trying to change or modify a negative behavior or habit, it will not happen overnight. Think about how long you’ve been doing or using this habit and that changing it will take practice. And more practice. And perhaps a stumble or two and then more practice. Finally, find a friend, family member or external resource (healthcare professional, website, or mobile app.) to support you and help hold you accountable. Social support is extremely important.
Ultimately, the winner formula for creating a ‘doable’ New Year’s resolution is…
- Pick only one goal that you want to work on.
- Set transitional targets to help you meet your goal.
- Establish a reasonable timeframe for both the targets and goal.
- Practice, practice, practice!
- Solicit help and support from others.
If you use the formula above, this year’s New Year’s resolution will be successful and you can take pride in knowing that you are one of the ones who met your goal for the year!
Congratulations in advance.
So, share with us your New Year’s Resolution. Remember, telling others your goal adds another level of accountability.