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We enter each New Year filled with promises for bettering ourselves. Yet if everyone actually accomplished these goals, the world would be a much smarter, healthier place than the one we currently inhabit.

What did we do to sabotage our chances at success? And how can we do a better job in 2013 and beyond? LabDoor curated a set of top research studies on habits and resolutions to give you a helping hand with your top goals.

Why Do We Break New Year’s Resolutions?

  1. Too many goals: Humans are notoriously stubborn. It’s hard enough to get us to change one thing about ourselves. So why do we think that the start of a new calendar year will suddenly spur us to a long list of improvements?
  2. Fear as a motivator: Don’t try to scare yourself into being healthy. Contrary to popular belief, humans are actually good at understanding the risks of bad habits. However, this knowledge isn’t enough to motivate them to change their behavior.
  3. Fake commitment: It’s not enough to just dream about future success. That’s one reason why 18% of people don’t even last a single day on their New Year’s resolutions. Real success requires careful self-control to turn your expectations into binding goals.

Tips for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Survive the first month: If you get to February 1st and still can hold on to at least one resolution, your odds of sustaining this change increase significantly, up to 76% chance of success.
  2. Find a partner: It’s easy to fail secretly. No one will notice if you spend one more night lounging on the couch. That is, unless you have a gym buddy that’s now working out alone. Plus, it’s more fun to accomplish goals together!
  3. Study self-efficacy: Learn more about your habits. Find out what methods of goal-setting and adherence work for you. We are all motivated by different triggers. What gets you going? Money? Guilt? Trophies? Put your favorite prize at the end of your journey, and you’ll greatly improve your chances at success.

LabDoor decided to be innovative with our New Year’s resolutions this year, and started making small improvements over the last month. Hopefully, by January 1st, we’ll have already established good health habits that will last well into 2013 and beyond. Otherwise, there’s always 2014!

Sources

  1. Header Image: Kristina Servant (Flickr)

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