Most New Year’s resolutions start out with fiery ambition on January 1 but soon dwindle to a weak flame, easily extinguished by the demands of day-to-day life.
Sound familiar? It should. According to StatisticBrain only 8% of people successfully achieve their resolution. I wonder how many of those abandoned goals cause angst. Especially after having publicly proclaimed a determination to lose weight or stop smoking or get a new job.
Is it lack of willpower—or something else?
Willpower is necessary, that’s for sure. Especially if one is aiming at a significant behavioural change like zapping an addiction to nicotine. New habits take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months before they become ingrained which means there’s a period of time when our mind and body send us signals to tempt us into the old behaviour. Willpower is our ability to withstand the temptation until such time as it loses its hold on us.
But lack of willpower isn’t the main reason so many goals are dropped. There are two other causes that I think are more pervasive. Fortunately they’re easily remedied once you recognize them. Continue reading