It’s been 1 month since most of us decided to change something. For some it’s been a secret promise to themselves, for others, a proclamation to the world.
According to Richard Wiseman in his study1, done in 2007, only 12% of us will achieve our goal this year. That’s a little bit depressing, but fear not, there are a few tricks we can use to achieve our resolutions and, not surprisingly, they differ for men and women.
But first a little bit of history2. The tradition that we call today “New Years resolution” is old, very old. The ancient Babylonian used to make promises to their Gods at the beginning of each year, to returned borrowed items, and pay back debts. A very good resolution if you want my opinion. Forward a little bit in time and we have the Romans, making promises to the God Janus. In medieval times, knights renewed their vows right after Christmas.
What about today ? According to University of Scranton3 the top 10 New Year Resolutions are as follow
- Lose Weight
- Getting Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Staying Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
Going back to the study,
Men were significantly more likely to succeed when asked to engage in either goal setting (e.g., instead of trying to lose weight in general, aiming to lose a pound each week), or focusing on the rewards associated with achieving their goal (e.g., being more attractive to the opposite sex).
It then follows with an interesting fact about women.
Women were more successful when they told their friends and family about their resolution, or were encouraged to be especially resilient and not to give up because they had reverted to the old habits (e.g., if dieting, treating a chocolate binge as a temporary setback rather than as failure).
22% more men achieved their goals when they used the goal setting technique. As for women, an extra 10% made it, just by being supported by their family and friends.
Although New Year resolutions have religious origins, we use them today in a quite different manner. We want to keep up in a world that is getting more chaotic and faster everyday, we want to be healthy, we want to find the time to be around those we love, to be more generous and we want to fall in love.
What about you ? Did you take any resolution this year and if you did, what are they ? Let me know in the comments below.
1 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_resolution
2 – http://www.quirkology.com/UK/Experiment_resolution.shtml
3 – http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/