How to Improve Your Odds of Achieving Your New Years Resolution

What's Your Resolution for the New Year?
What's Your Resolution for the New Year?

January 1st is fast approaching. Have you thought about your resolution for the coming year?

Even though most of us are full of broken New Year’s resolution commitments, every year we tell ourselves that we will commit ourselves to one thing or another. I have to admit; I don’t even remember what my resolutions from past years were. It’s obvious that New Year’s resolutions haven’t worked out for me.

Research by the people at Quirkology found from their study of over 3,000 people that only 12% achieved their New Year’s resolution goals. To make matters more interesting, 52% of the over 3,000 people were confident that they would achieve their goal when they first committed to it. (Which also means that 48% committed to a New Year’s resolution with expectations of not succeeding?) Although 12% is a disappointing percentage, there are ways to improve your odds of success.

Not all hope is lost. Tips given by the Quirkology study to improve your odds of achieving your resolution say that men tend to achieve 22% more often when they used goal setting as a tactic, while women can boost their success rate by 10% when they share their goals with others and gain support.

Here are some more tips from the Quirkology study:

One Resolution Only – Just like how our minds are not made to multi-task, trying to focus on many resolutions will split your focus and lower performance. Concentrating on one resolution will help you increase your focus on the one important resolution you want to achieve, thus increasing your success rate.

Be Specific – If you tell yourself that your resolution is to create a successful blog, there is no context to what you want to achieve. Do you want a publishing deal through your blog? Do you want 500 subscribers? 100,000? Or is your motivation based on income that can be generated from your blog? How much income do you want to generate? (Be specific with the amount)

Be Persistent – We all mess up here and there, but keep at your goals. If you stall or let your resolution schedule pass up, get back into your routine as soon as you can. We also need to know that new habits will take a long time to learn. Some habits may come as soon as 1 month, while others may take well over a year.

Other Suggestions:

Instead of a longer 1-year commitment, try something you’d find more reasonable.  How about a 200-day challenge? 100-day challenge? 30-day challenge?

By achieving smaller challenges in the beginning, you’ll be able to build up confidence and motivation to challenge yourself to bigger goals.

If you want to improve your success rate and want to achieve more than one resolution, aim for goals in different areas.  If you want to learn another language, make another resolution a physical one such as being able to run a half-marathon, etc.

Know why you want to achieve a certain goal. Do you want to lose weight because you want to look good at the beach? Is it because you’ll be facing health problems if you don’t shed some extra weight? Is it pressure from others?

If you decide to challenge yourself in 2010, good luck!

Photo by: express monorail

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17 thoughts on “How to Improve Your Odds of Achieving Your New Years Resolution”

    1. @Srini: For habits that are hard to form, 30 days might be way to short to get over the hump. But as you alluded to, the key is to get started and keep at it when times are tough.

  1. For me, getting social support for my goal(s) from a few friends does help boost my motivation. Also, although resolutions are a popular new year tradition, I try to add new ones throughout the year to keep myself challenged.

    1. @Oscar: Yea, sometimes we get a little overzealous and try to shoot for goals that are a little too optimistic 😛

  2. Hey Ken. Great post here. That was an interesting stat that you put up. I think too many people make resolutions because it’s “the thing to do”. But rarely do people actually believe and commit to them from the first day to the very last day. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. @Hulbert: Thanks for the comment, it really is important to take our goals seriously if we’re planning to succeed!

  3. Oooo. I love the shorter goal like 100 days or 30 days. That seems more attainable than the 365 days ones. It is interesting that nearly half don’t think they will keep their resolutions.

    I have enjoyed your blog so much this year. Many blessings to you in 2010.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Press On, Stay Focused, Take a Risk =-.

    1. @Erin: Thank you very much for visiting my blog! I always welcome your comments. To an even better 2010!

  4. Hi Ken, new years resolutions don’t work. At least for me. So I usually write down the goals for the year, prioritize and start working on them. Even if I don’t achieve all of them, they make a good criteria by the end of the year how effective I am for the year. 😀 I like the concept of a 100-day challenge. I might start doing that.

    Mighty

    1. @Mighty: When our “goal line” seems to be too far out of reach, it helps to trick ourselves to completing the goal sooner before we lose steam and focus. If you try the shorter challenges, good luck and here’s to a great 2010!

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