Each year, 50% of Americans set a new year’s resolution for themselves. 88% of the people creating new year’s resolutions fail each year at accomplishing their goal according to a study by researcher Richard Wiseman. A recent article written by blogger Leo Widrich breaks down the research on failed new year’s resolutions and gives a scientific explanation for the low success rate. He explains that resolutions and goals involve willpower which is operated in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for handling short term memory which is why it simply cannot handle long-term goals. Instead of making abstract, long term resolutions, people will be 50% more likely to achieve their goals by initiating lifestyle habits. For example, if you have a resolution to lose weight, Leo suggests that it is better to create a habit such as substituting your afternoon mocha with an apple. Here are a few tips to make your resolutions stick:
- Pick only 1 resolution.
- Make your resolution a habit by taking small steps to achieve it.
- Write it down so you hold yourself accountable.
For more information on how to turn your resolutions into habits, read this article.