Scientific insights to help you stick to your new year resolution this time
We said bye to 2016 and are in the first week of 2017. Right time to make this year’s new year resolutions. As records says nearly 45% people make new year resolutions but less than 10% stick to their decisions. Despite repeated failings, we keep trying. This yearly tradition dates as far back as Ancient Rome. I am sure if you look into this year’s list there would be some carry over’s from last year like lose weight, quit smoking, join gym, restrict gadget usage and so on.
Mark Griffiths, professor at Nottingham Trent University states that the main reason that people don’t stick to their resolutions is that they set too many goals or they’re unrealistic to achieve. They may also be victims of “false hope syndrome”.
Despite repeated failure at attempts to change aspects of their behavior, people make frequent attempts at self-change. This cycle of failure and renewed effort is known as “false hope syndrome” 
Neuroscience research indicates that our brains hate change. We are creatures of habit and are “wired to seek rewards and avoid pain or discomfort, including fear.” When we get scared after setting a goal, this often makes it more difficult to achieve. We then go back to what makes us comfortable .
Let’s set our resolution this time little different
- Keep it simple
Do not try to change your entire lifestyle at a go. But take it one step a time. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals.
- Set small milestones
Break down your final goal to manageable chunks. Rather than aiming for completely quitting social media or smoking, at first reduce the number of hours. If you want to lose 10 Kg of weight, aim for one Kg in the first month. Also reward yourself with small treats when you reach your milestones.
- Don’t give up
You are bound to fall out of your plan, but then don’t give up. Continue from where you left it rather than completely abandoning it.
- Team up
Get hold of a friend or family member. Doing it alone many a time is a detractor. Surround yourself with people who can inspire you to do more.
- Bring change in your environment
To change yourself, you need to change your environment too. Bring in necessary changes in your home and office so that you will not be tempted to go back to your old habit.
If you have read all the five points, then you are in good state to make your revised list….All the best
- American Psychologist, Vol 57(9), Sep 2002, 677-689