New Year’s resolutions.
According to an NHS survey, you have a better chance of achieving your New Year’s resolutions if you… start working on them before the New Year.
Here I am, in 2015 writing a post on the next New Year’s resolutions. Box ticked, I’m not going up a one-way street.
Roughly 50% of the population makes New Year’s resolutions, though I don’t know if it is the same half that does it every year. Maybe the other half commits itself only on even-numbered years so that everyone is covered by a 2 year cycle. Or even more subtly, with a 25% sliding share you could align with the Olympic cycle with an extra day to….whatever!
New Year‘s resolutions are an old tradition. Babylonians used to promise to bring back borrowed objects and paying their debts. Supposedly, medieval knights had their own version of the New Year’s resolutions. During the last feast of the Christmas week, they would place their hands on a live or roasted peacock and pledge to uphold the ideals of chivalry for another 12 months.
Back to modern time and figures. From those 50% of the population who do make New Year resolutions, about nine out of ten will fail to achieve their goals, even worse, 25% of them will have 51 weeks to recover from their failure as they will abandon their own resolutions just one week after having made them.
The 3 reasons given to explain this lack of success are equally shared to 1/3 each: Too ambitious, lack of tracking and forgotten.
Well, congratulations to those remaining 10% (so 5% of the total population) of the 50% who against all odds, do manage to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Study shows the younger are more successful than the older, does it make bold goals more achievable than wiser ones? If you are a woman, you have twice more chance to succeed if you share and talk about your goal with others in order to create a supportive environment. If you are a man, you are twice as likely to succeed if you split your big goal into smaller ones and celebrate smaller successes along the way.
Statistics done by the Brain Research Institute stated that the top 10 New Year resolutions for 2015 were (sorry bad bias) are:
My first take on this list is that a good way of achieving n° 4 would simply be to succeed at the others … yeah I know…you’re welcome…my pleasure.
Obviously most of the resolutions evolve around familiar modern Homo sapiens sapiens topics such as a better physical health (loosing weight, quitting bad habits, more exercise, healthier food, more sleep…), mental well being (better organisation, less stress…), more learning (education, trips, books, …), better finances (less debts and shopping addiction,…), more love and family, and a better social life.
When you look at the evolution of these Top New Year resolutions over the last decade, you can see love, social life and education switching ranks with finance and stress, but what remains constantly at the number 1 resolution is “To lose weight”.
The next lines are taken from the NHS site with some sound advice for those willing to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
Psychologists have found we’re more likely to succeed if we break our resolutions into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based.
Prof R.Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked 5,000 people as they attempted to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
His team found that those who failed tended not to have a plan. Some of the failures focused too much on the downside of not achieving their goal, adopted role models, or relied on will power alone.
If you are trying to lose weight, it’s not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasise about being slimmer.” says Prof Wiseman.
He said the 10% of participants in the study who achieved their target broke down their goal into bite-size goals and felt a sense of achievement when they achieved these.
“Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it,” says Prof Wiseman.
Well, it doesn’t sound over complicated, so let’s look forward to our next New Year’s Resolutions. One of mine is to learn and progress so that I’m good enough in surfing. Of course I will have to be more specific on my own definition of what is good enough. Aside from working on a small steps plan and a supportive environment, my main drive when going for a personal objective is that it simply has to be good for me, and surfing will be good for me.
Me being the male and the Tiger here, I will celebrate this post as a resolution, probably in Paw Wow style, no small success. Her being the female and the Wolf, she will make sure to spread it around to the tribe and beyond, ensuring that my supportive environment is ready to check on me and my progress over and under the waves.
OK, that’s done, now hand me over the peacock so that I can officialise my commitment.