We all make them and we all break them - New Year's Resolutions. January 19 is the day most likely for people to give up on them, so let's look at the best strategies to make sure you're on top of things come 'Quitter's Day'.
A study involving 1000+ individuals were studied to find out what influenced successful New Year's Resolutions. The pool of participants was broken into three groups:
*Group 1 (control group) - people were asked to record what their resolutions were. No further interaction was made with the group.
*Group 2 - people were asked to record their resolutions and to enlist some help/support from friends and family like emails through out the year to help them reach their goals.
*Group 3 - this group was asked to record resolutions that were specific and measurable within a defined time frame. They would also receive support from friends and family to help them achieve their goals.
Across the board there was a 55% success rate at the end of the experiment with Group 2 showing the highest success rate. Their resolutions were not as concrete as Group 3 and researchers observed that the negative feedback (on self) from being unsuccessful on the very specific resolutions became demoralising and had a de-motivating effect on participants.
Also, resolutions came in the form of two forms - giving up something or trying something new. For example, quitting most fast food vs taking up tennis.
Regardless of what your resolutions may be, there is definite benefit from including others in your decisions. Moral support, honest feedback and friendly accountability can all help you reach your goals.
If you don't hit your goals when you first expect to or fall off the bandwagon mid-flight, don't worry as people often make new goals at the beginning of weeks and months as well as years. Making a fresh start the following month or week is another chance to hit your goal.