New Year’s resolutions are fairly popular with over 50 percent of Americans making the effort every year. However, research shows that approximately 88 percent of these good intentions fail. While resolutions formed around the new year may seem like a valid form of internal motivation, making resolutions around one specific point in the year just sets an individual up for failure.
The Most Magical Day of the Year
While New Year’s Day has a cultural significance because of its positioning on the calendar as the first day of a whole new year, the day itself holds no magical powers of wish fulfillment. Resolutions and goals are not more likely to succeed on January 1st as any other day of the year. While many people expect that things can change like turning a page on this date, this day holds no more power and influence over changing behavior than any other day. Without putting forth the willpower, effort and making changes yourself, things will not be any different, even if the promises are made at the start of the new year.
The Cup that Runneth Over
It’s wonderful when people wish to make changes to improve their lives. However, people often make multiple new year’s resolutions. If you wish to drink a gallon of water and tried to pour it into a juice glass, most of the milk would spill out over the top of the glass. Like the glass, the human brain can only handle a small amount of change at a time in order to successfully hold these new changes. In addition to multiple goals, large goals can be problematic in the same manner. Large goals may need several smaller steps, or mini goals, in order to stick or be more effective.
Just Winging It
Most New Year’s resolutions are large, vague goals that really have no set plan to succeed or to measure results on the path to progress. While it’s great to want to lose weight, eat healthier, or exercise more, these goals are not precise and are too large to handle at once. When results are not seen quickly, people tend to give up. It’s hard to fly if you don’t know how. In order for a vague or large resolution to succeed, it is important to set up smaller precise goals that can be easier to attain and measure the results. Choosing a realistic amount of weight to lose in a specific time frame is more likely to reach success, especially if there is a realistic plan of attack. The benefit is that is it more possible to reach smaller goals more quickly, further reinforcing behavior changes for positive results.