Beating the 92 Percent New Year’s Fail

A shocking 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. How to get in the successful 8 percent.

According to a University of Scranton Journal of Psychology study, 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, 92 percent of those resolutions fail. If you’re serious about losing weight, you need to know why so many fail and how you can stop it from happening to you. Here’s the skinny on new y ears resolutions and how to make them stick.

The Slow Fade

Most of us do well without resolutions in the first week. But as time goes on, more and more of us fall behind and eventually give up. In fact, if you can’t maintain your resolution past the first two weeks, you’re very likely to fail. Remember the slow fade when your resolution starts to get hard. Do you want to tough it out or go through this yet again next year?

Be Specific

According to WebMD, most of us seek to lose weight, some of us try to quit smoking, a few less of us decide we want to exercise more and a smaller number of us decide we want to drink less alcohol. For some of us, all of the above are important goals, but without a clear idea of what it takes to tackle any one of these behavior problems, we shouldn’t even think about starting them all.

Sure, losing weight is a healthy choice. But how will you do it? Without a specific plan in place, it’s just a daydream and doomed to failure. If you’re really serious, get a journal to write down all of your calorie intakes and expenditures. If paper isn’t your thing, get a smart phone app to do it for you. Start thinking about how you’re going to track your food intake now so you’re ready when the time is right.

lose weight in 2014Know Thyself

You should also be thinking about the situations when you are most vulnerable to slipping in your achievements. Maybe you overeat when you dine out or indulge too much in alcohol with friends. Start thinking about how you will face those situation going forward so that they don’t damage your ability to meet your goals.

Start Small

If you think you’re going to lose 10 pound your first week, you’re putting way too much pressure on yourself. At first, just resolve to write down everything you eat. Then take small steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Begin adding things like eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising and resisting temptation slowly. Feel comfortable in your ability to keep up one healthy habit before you start work on changing another behavior that impedes weight loss.

Expect Adversity

Everyone makes mistakes. The trick to losing weight is making fewer of them. Expect that you will slip up and forgive yourself when you do. Then, get to work on how you can avoid making the same mistake again. By dealing with mistakes in a constructive way, one that leads towards healthier behaviors, you give yourself a better chance at success.

Think Like You’re Young

Here’s a really interesting statistic from the Scranton study: Those in their 20s are about 2.5 times more likely to achieve their goals than those over age 50. What does this say about our belief that we can achieve our goals? In our 20s, most of us are optimistic and we tend to lose some of that optimism as life’s ups and downs take their toll. Try to remember what it felt like to see all the possibilities of your life lying ahead of you instead of behind you.

Look, changing your lifestyle is really hard. Don’t expect it to be easy or overnight. Stick with it and you’re chances of success go way up.