A 2007 study by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail,despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning.
How many times have you set one or more New Year’s resolutions and failed? You’re not alone. A 2007 British study showed that in spite of the fact that 52% of the study participants believed they would succeed, 88% of them failed.
And it makes sense. How so, you ask?
The answer is right in the word itself re-solutions. If we recycle the same approach over and over to creating change in our life we will get the same result. Relying on the solution of New Years being the impetus for change and believing that somehow this time something magical will happen when 2012 becomes 2013 at the stroke of midnight almost guarantees a failed outcome.
It doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of this, arguably over-emphasized, last day of the year. Just that applying a solution that has failed you (and so many others) in the past again sets you up for the same results. Here are three tips that can help you make this year’s outcome different:
1. Go back to the original intent of the tradition. It was not just about what to change moving into the new year, but what to complete and make amends about from the past year. So instead of dragging the incompletions of 2012 into January, avoid the overpriced evening out and the New Years Day hangover by spending the evening at home wrapping up 2012. Clean out that closet, balance your checkbook and prep for tax time, make that phone call you’ve been avoiding…whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do that would make you feel lighter if you didn’t carry it into 2013.
2. Instead of making a resolution, set an intention. This is more about choosing the way you would like to experience the coming year. Maybe you have an intention of feeling abundant no matter what or being peaceful and centered in the face of whatever comes your way. If you could choose one qualify or characteristic you’d like to weave into your new year, what would it be?
3. If you do choose to make a resolution, break it into actionable steps, schedule them, get an accountability partner and make good on it. By adding in new components like outside support, you change the process and, therefore, most likely the outcome.
No matter what you’re approach to moving from 2012 to 2013, please do it in a safe way for yourself and others. Please…don’t drink and drive.