Well, here we are, halfway through January. How are those New Year’s Resolutions looking? According to statisticbrain.com, right now is the time we’re all starting to hit a rough patch. During the first week of the year, 75% of resolutions are being maintained. But somewhere between the second week and the end of the month, an entire 10% go back to old habits.
By six months, just over half are still focused on their goals. And according to Quartz.com, “a Marist poll predicted that 44% of us would make a resolution for 2015, but research from the University of Scranton says only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.”
So now is the time to buoy up that sagging determination, and figure out how to make sure THIS year we end up in the successful column.
Last month I shared on Facebook an article that disputes the concept that sharing goals publicly increases the probability of success. I found it fascinating. One of the central points is that when we share goals with others, personally or via social media, we get a positive, uplifting response that feels good – so good we don’t actually need to complete the goal because we’ve already achieved a fulfilling result.
While this, and the other concepts related in the study, makes sense on a personal basis, I think that if sharing goals and progress doesn’t prop up our own determination, it can inspire others. Seeing other people succeed in their struggles and resolve creates a community of not being alone in facing challenges. We re-commit to our own journey when we see others on the same path.
So the question then becomes, is there a way to do both?
The stats at statisticbrain.com show that those who explicitly make resolutions are more likely to keep them than those who are vague about what they want to accomplish. Writing it down, committing to ourselves is the most critical move.
It comes down to the difference “between talking about how many pounds you’ve lost so far and discussing a new healthy recipe. The former would elicit positive feedback, but could also tempt the sharer to reward him or herself with a day off from the gym or a high-calorie meal. The latter is representative of a larger lifestyle change, and conversations about a tasty new dish would reinforce an individual’s efforts to keep finding fun ways to be healthy.
“You should think about your successes in terms of commitment and not in terms of progress…Think, ‘It’s my commitment to be that person who does these things.’ ”
While commitment is more difficult than progress to articulate, it resonates more deeply for mutual benefit. Success becomes less a question of keeping it to ourselves, and more a matter of how we think about our resolutions and how we share them.
Here’s to greater results in 2015, and to getting over the first month hurdle together. Perhaps these “Hacks to Help You Stick With Your New Years Resolutions”