5 Scientifically Proven Ways To Keep Your Resolutions
A new day, a new beginning its more than any other day associated with New Year’s Day. Its that day again that you can swipe your slate clean and start afresh. Many use the opportunity to make a promise to themselves to……….reduce drinking, stop smoking, lose weight, organise their live, start exercising, eat more healthy, be a kinder person, do more for the community, start that training, do more revisions, go on a holiday etc etc etc etc. There are as many possible resolutions as there are people.
Unfortunately changing behaviour is not for the faint hearted. One of my favourite stats to back this up is that only 6% of people who sign up and pay for weightwatchers to help them achieve their targets weight actually do so. And to prove that change on the long run is even more difficult; only 1% of the people that achieve their target weight still weigh that dream weight after only 2 years!
One way I have been taught in my early years to achieve a certain target was to visualise what it would be like to achieve that feat (still remember how it felt – in my dreams – to win the 500m speed skating club championship!). Unfortunately, and proven by own my experience as I never became club champion, was that positive visualisation doesnt do the trick. In matter of fact experiments by Lien Pham / Shelley Taylor and Gabrielle Oettingen / Thomas Wadden have proven over and over again that people who had the most negative thoughts about achieving a certain goal (getting certain grades, scoring the ‘love of their life’ or loosing weight) were more likely to achieve their goals than the people who had dreamed positively about it.
Professor Wiseman who has the interesting distinction of being Britain’s only professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology, shared in his wonderful book ‘59 Seconds‘ the results of a large scale experiment in which 5000 participants from around the globe were tracked on their behaviour and success in achieving a certain goal or target. Wiseman found that the people that successfully achieved their goals:
1. Had a Plan With Clear Sub Goals and Steps
2. Told their Friends and Made Public Declarations of Their Intent
3. Had an Objective Checklist on How Better Live Would Be If They Achieve Their Plan
4. Rewarded Themselves on Achieving Sub Goals
5. Made the Commitments, Plan, Achievements in Writing
So if you have a new years resolution, make sure you follow the above 5 scientifically proven steps. Good luck and I would like to wish you and your loved ones a fantastic, but above all, safe and healthy 2015! If you liked this post, why not signup to receive my twice-a-week updates on leadership and HR in a dynamic world? See you on the inside!