I've been one of those people who looks at new year's resolutions with disdain. Why bother with a pointless cliche that never works? Well, it turns out that new year's resolutions actually do work. According to research I recently heard about on National Public Radio:
1. The success rate of new year's resolvers is 10 times higher than the success rate of adults who desire to change, but don't make a new year's resolution.
2. Of those who make new year's resolutions, 40%-46% will be successful at six months (so yeah, most people fail, but a big percentage succeed).
3. People who make new year's resolutions tend to move from the contemplation stage to the action stage much more than people who don't make resolutions.
4. Having the support of a few friends helps get you to the action stage even faster.
Do you have a new year's resolution you are serious about? Would you like the support of a few friends? Invite some friends out to brunch. Actually, invite as many people as you can think of because only a percentage of them will actually want to do this. I'm doing it! I sent an email to 21 women and about five or six of us will be meeting.
We'll share our new year's resolutions, see what we have in common, make plans, tawk. Maybe we can set up a support system that will help keep us on track throughout the year. Or if we don't stay on track, we'll have friends to tell us that it's okay and we shouldn't give up. Research also shows that people who are ultimately successful in their resolutions have just as many early slip-ups as those who ultimately fail. We just have to keep each other going.
One friend sent me a link to a great set of tools for goal-setting and accomplishing. Download them here by clicking on the "2009" icon at the bottom of the page. It's at website called Till Creative and I haven't explored it yet, but these downloadable materials look very effective. I'm excited about this.
It's a new year and a new chance to focus on making realistic, measurable changes. Who's ready?