The Psychology Behind A Failing New Year Resolution

3 minutes

It’s that time of the year when several people plan to commit to improving themselves. Thoughtful promises will be made until you realise that they are likely to fail. 

Bupa conducted an interesting research with the British population which concluded motivation to the primary driver, solely responsible for 50% of the failing new year resolutions.

Why Do New Year Resolutions Fail? How Can You Make Them Succeed?
Source: www.bupa.co.uk

Why don’t New Year Resolutions succeed?

Why Do New Year Resolutions Fail? How Can You Make Them Succeed?
Source: Know Your Meme

It is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to be a catalyst for bringing in character changes. It is just the time when people usually reflect on their previous year’s behaviour and promises to bring in positive changes in the lifestyle. There can be scientific reasons for your deteriorating aspirations of improvement.

The primary reason that your efforts flounder is because most aspects of human behaviour are fleeting and depletable.  

A study on human behaviour has claimed that “we would rather continue doing something that doesn’t work rather than try something new that COULD work — but also could fail.”

There may be more than one reason for our failing new year resolutions.

1. Your new year resolution is not specific

You may have a resolution which is not clear even to yourself. Just saying, “I want to be healthy,” or “I will exercise” is not enough for your mind to understand.

40% of people have claimed that the number one reason they couldn’t follow through was their need to juggle too many other activities.

2. Your resolutions are unrealistic.

12% of people said they planned to exercise more in 2014 while 11% wanted to shed some extra pounds. Another 8% vowed to stop smoking and start eating better. Too many resolutions were decided to follow at once.

You over promise and over expect yourself to do more than what is possible. You feel being over ambitious will help you aspire your goals. But setting unrealistic and highly aspirational goals can make you feel guilty for the failure. By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year, incorporating healthy behaviour into your everyday life.

3. Resolutions are based on willpower.

42% people believe that it was just too difficult to stick to a regimen while 36% blame a lack of time.

While deciding a resolution you must remember that it is not how much you change which matters at first. But, rather the act of recognising the lifestyle change you wish to make which matters. You can take one step at a time and try fulfilling your resolutions.

Source: daledegagne.com
Source: daledegagne.com

It is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to be a catalyst for bringing in character changes. It is just the time when people usually reflect on their previous year’s behaviour and promises to bring in positive changes in the lifestyle. There can be scientific reasons for your deteriorating aspirations of improvement.

Have you decided your 2017 resolution? Do you need help to retain your resolution for a longer time? Get personalised resolution plans with dedicated coaches of YourDOST who will help your resolutions be successful.

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