Why 88% of New Years' Resolutions Fail

OH boy, here comes the New Year and with it the traditional New Year’s resolutions and with them the traditional New Year’s resolution failures.
If you usually make, or have ever made resolutions; good for you! That means that you’ve given some reflection to your life and circumstances and determined that there are some things that need to change. You’re also in good company as, according to researcher John Norcross and his colleagues, who published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 50% of the population makes resolutions each New Year. That’s a lot of positive energy directed at positive change!
Unfortunately, according to a study conducted by researcher Richard Wiseman, 88% of all those resolutions from half of America and probably lots of other people in the world fail. That’s 156 million failed resolutions and disappointed minds each and every year.
So WHY do all those resolutions end up on the ash heap of failure? There are really several reasons, but the two most common and important are that people really aren’t serious about change and second, they don’t really know how to go about changing behaviors/habits that have taken a lifetime to develop.
Many people really aren’t serious or committed to achieving their goals. They think ‘New Year is coming and I should probably make some resolutions so I’m going to resolve to lose some weight this year.’ Making a commitment to change because it’s traditional or everyone else is doing it demonstrates a serious lack of thought, planning and commitment. Also, social pressure is one of the worst reasons for contemplating change, because, when the people around you start trashing their resolutions, that gives you permission to say, ‘Hey, they failed, so why even bother sticking to this, because I’ll probably fail too.’
The second most common reason for failing to keep resolutions is that people really don’t know HOW to change or what’s even involved in the process of change. Making resolutions work is essentially changing behaviors and in order to do that, you have to change your thinking and “rewire” your brain. Brain scientists have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by “not trying to do it,” in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.
That is exactly how Clinical Hypnotherapy works. By sidestepping the conscious mind or ‘Critical Factor,’ you and the therapist access the subconscious mind directly. The subconscious is the place where all memory, learning and thinking begins. Think of it like a computer and the subconscious is the operating system. Your life experiences, thoughts, successes, and failures, have written a program that your mind uses as its default operating system. Ask yourself ‘When something goes wrong, what does my mind tell me?’ Is your self-talk positive like, ‘Well, that didn’t work out the way I expected, but I can change my strategy/behavior/expectation, etc., and try again?” Or is your mind telling you, ‘I’m no good at anything. Everything I do turns into a disaster. Why even bother to try?’
Working with a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist you can go into the subconscious and rewrite the program into a self-affirming and positive one. You and the therapist can also work out a reasonable strategy of behaviors, goals and self-talk that will automatically allow you to recognize when you’re engaging in self-defeating thinking or behaviors; stop; regroup and move forward in a more positive and productive fashion.
What else can you do to help ensure New Year’s resolution success? First of all, focus on just one goal at a time. Trying to change everything all at once is going to be overwhelming and exhaust you before the first week is over.
Another thing you can do to ensure more positive resolution results is to ensure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.
SPECIFIC: Make sure your resolution is very specific. Saying you ‘want to lose weight’ isn’t nearly as strong as saying, ‘I am going to lose 20 pounds,’ or ‘I’m going to lose weight until I fit into that dress.”
MEASURABLE: Make sure that your goal is tied into some method of measurement so you can track your progress toward your success, or know when you have succeeded.
ATTAINABLE: Make sure your goal is attainable. Setting a goal to achieve a result that is really out of your control in the first place is a sure recipe for failure.
REASONABLE: For most people in ordinary situations a goal of losing 30 pounds in two weeks in physiologically impossible, or at least extremely unsafe. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days is much more reasonable…specific…and measurable.
TIMELY: Make sure you have definite milestones you can measure your progress against and also a realistic goal achievement date.
I’ll be writing more over the next few days about specific resolutions and how you can better your chances of actually succeeding at them this year.
Remember, while you formulating your resolutions and goals, consult your friendly neighborhood Clinical Hypnotherapist for their help and suggestions. If you can’t come to me or my office, I’ll come to you via SKYPE. Hypnotherapy, change and success from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
In the meantime, I hope you have an intentionally great and resolute day.
Rich

By | 2014-12-30T06:29:20-05:00 December 30th, 2014|Counseling, Counseling/Therapy, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Therapy|0 Comments

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