We’re getting to that time of year where many of us will now be thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. Each and every year millions of us make a commitment to change our lives in one way or another, hoping to have a better year moving forward.
Whether it be cutting the booze, giving up chocolate, or making a vow to see the world, we hit January with a fresh sense of “I can do this” and an excitement for the year ahead.
But how many people actually keep those resolutions?
Well, a study has found that only 9% of people who make resolutions actually keep them, meaning that less than one in 10 people are actually sticking to them. In fact, the study, which was put together by Strava, found that the vast majority of people don’t even make it past the first month!
That’s right, the study found that January 19, less than three weeks into the year, is the most common day for giving up on resolutions, with the brand labelling it “Quitter’s Day”.
Which begs the question, why?
It’s certainly an interesting, and quite complex question, that could be serious, or could simply be an overly ambitious target. For example, a resolution of running a marathon in a short space of time may be a stretch, while failing to give up alcohol after just a week or so could be a sign of something more serious going on.
It can be really useful to analyse why your resolution has failed, and come to terms why that may be. For example, failing to give up alcohol could lead to questions over your relationship with the substance and potentially may be the moment of realisation you’re suffering with addiction.
In which case, it could be the catalyst for going to alcohol rehab and getting clean, which would ultimately be a positive outcome from setting a resolution.
On the other hand, a resolution may have been to get fit. This goal is perhaps a little too vague. Research has shown that by setting specific and challenging goals increases the chance of a person achieving those. There’s no real end goal to “getting fit”. However, if you were to set a challenge to run a 10 kilometre race in May, and have a specific endpoint, you have a level of fitness you need to achieve in order to do that and thus enjoy a successful resolution.
You can set smaller goals along that journey to help you reach the larger goals, almost considering them as checkpoints, no matter what that goal may be, while having a support system in place can also ensure resolutions stay in place.
It’s about commitment and setting up a system that allows you to stay committed. Something which over 90% of us are clearly going wrong with in our resolutions!