The tradition of making New Year resolutions appears to have been as strong as ever this year. But, the common message I’ve heard is “I’m not very good at sticking to my resolutions but I’m going to try again”. In fact, the results of a recent survey indicate that less than 10% of resolutions made in January survive to December, and this made me wonder why we struggle to keep promises to ourselves.

Some suggestions are…

* We are too ambitious when setting ourselves a challenge
* When we realise the extent of the tasks required to achieve a goal, it’s too daunting
* It seemed like a good idea at the time, or put another way, our resolve is not as strong as our intentions
* One slip up and we call it a day
* We quickly forget our good intentions

Behavioural research reveals that we have a tendency to be optimistic, and often over confident, when it comes to setting our goals and intentions. Consequently, it’s easy to over reach and become discouraged when the effort and commitment required becomes clear.

One answer is be kind to yourself and perhaps lower your sights and focus on what you really believe to be achievable within a realistic timeframe. If necessary, break down your goal into manageable steps and plan how you can succeed. Why not give yourself little rewards along the way as you get across the line at each stage.

Don’t fear failure. Setbacks are normal. Put them behind you and move on with the programme.

I hope that this year you can make it into the 10%, and I wish you well in achieving that. Also remember that you don’t have to do it on your own. Having somebody you trust to discuss your progress and obstacles with who can help you to maintain your motivation is always a good idea.

Wishing you all the very best for 2017.

 

“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty”…

Winston Churchill