New Year's Resolutions: Why We Make Them, Fail & How to Succeed
4 months ago
It's not all about willpower
Now that the gift-giving of Christmas has ceased, it's time to begin focusing on you again: You've overeaten your last meal! You've smoked your last cigarette! You'll sulk and scowl no more! It's time to make that New Year's Resolution that you, well, according to a recent survey, likely won't keep.
The University of Scranton found that only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions; 24 percent admittedly fail; and the majority, at 49 percent, have "infrequent" success.
"In reality, we make resolutions to live up to other people's expectations," said Luna. "They stem from a desire to impress others, and that's why it's so hard to stick to them. We want to lose those last 10 pounds, not because we are pained by the extra padding, but because we want to turn more heads and get more attention. But is our life over by not losing the weight? No, not really. It's not a question of willpower, it's a question of 'want' and 'why' power."
Lavinia Rodriguez, clinical psychologist and weight management expert, agrees that it has "little to do with willpower," and adds that it's our poor (and unrealistic) planning that has us feeling like failures.
"We fail because we set goals that are too big and it becomes overwhelming, so we don't even start," said Rodriguez. "And because we believe that setting the resolution alone is what will make it happen, instead of accepting that hard work is the main ingredient of success. And because we don't know where to start to make the change happen, we use ineffective methods, and we are expecting perfection instead of realizing that change happens one step at a time and there can be setbacks along the way."
According to the University of Scranton study, the top 10 New Year's resolutions this year were (in order): to lose weight, get organized, spend less and save more, "enjoy life to the fullest," stay fit and healthy, learn something exciting, quit smoking, help others in their dreams, fall in love, and spend more time with family.
The top pick however, making up 38 percent of resolutions, are weight-related and always seem to be the most difficult to fulfill. Maggie Reyes, life coach and relationship specialist, has an inkling as to why.