The start of a new year is often a chance to start anew and make positive changes to one’s life. But how effective are the resolutions you make truly?
A study in A Journal of Clinical Psychology revealed that people who make resolutions are ten times as likely to change their behavior than those who don’t. Then how is it that of the thousands of Americans who make resolutions each year, only a measly 8% are actually successful long-term? Although, 75% of them were able to maintain their goals for the first week, this percent considerably decreased with each consecutive week passed.
Studies suggest that this widespread failure could be attributed to the actual goals themselves; which were often too vague or unattainable.
In order for your goals to be effective, they should be clear and precise. Instead of aiming to run more be specific and say, “I plan to run four times a week for 2 miles.”
The more ambiguous your resolution is, the less likely you are to commit to it.
Lofty goals may give you a feeling of hope, but the motivation you feel will be short-lived. Tasha Eurich, Ph.D. presents the concept of Delusional Development to explain this; it is when you have “the futile hope that you will get better at something just because you want to”.
By thinking more practically, it’ll be easier to visualize an actionable plan.
It’s not enough to just make a great goal. To actually generate results, you must be steadfast to your goal.
Remember than change is mind over matter. In order to create new habits and change bad ones, you need to change your way of thinking and create new neural pathways. To achieve your goals, make sure your intent is focused, tangible, and consistent. And, forgive your failures. How you act after them has more of an impact on your success than any of your triumphs.