The tradition of promises
New Year is the right time to take stock. This helps to identify mistakes and shortcomings, pay attention to important areas and outline goals for the future. In addition, the holiday is associated with magic and a new stage, which will invariably be better than the previous one. If you can't keep your promises, don't be discouraged, because most people are faced with this, as evidenced by a study by scientists from the University of Scranton.
Most popular promises
In the first place is the desire to lose weight, behind it - to spend less, and in the third - to enjoy life. Many people dream of learning something new, quitting smoking, taking better care of their health, falling in love and spending more time with family and friends. Most of these goals are unattainable in the short term. These are really good promises and can be realized. But only a small number of people at the end of the year proudly sum up the results, putting a tick in front of the plan.
Fulfillment of desires
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The Staticbrain website has shared statistics on fulfilled promises over the past years. It is interesting that about 45% of the respondents perceive the holiday as a milestone before starting a new life and set global goals. However, only 8% of them successfully achieve their goals by the next December 31st. The easiest way to follow these promises is in the first weeks after the New Year - 76% of respondents distinguished themselves by this, and 46% of respondents adhered to the new rules within six months after the holiday. Most often, the set goals were achieved by people between the ages of 20 and 25, and the lowest percentage of those who kept their promises was among those over 50.
Why doesn't it work
“These promises are in most cases just doomed to fail,” says Timothy Pichel, assistant professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa. He studies procrastination, the desire to constantly procrastinate. People are less likely to achieve a goal that has a delayed result. It is easier for the brain to make an effort for momentary gratification, and we love to set tasks that should make us a different person during the coming year.
Benefit or harm
Making promises to yourself and others is an additional motivation to implement your plans. But they can also have the opposite effect. Joseph Luciani, a psychologist based in Creskill, New Jersey, specializes in coaching. He is convinced that failing to keep promises leaves feelings of self-dissatisfaction and frustration that will diminish the motivation for future accomplishments. “At first we are optimistic about the future, then we understand that it is not so easy to keep a promise, and in the end we are reluctant to set new goals during the year,” says Luciani.
What to do
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Try to redefine your attitude to your new life from a significant reporting point. Don't wait until Monday, birthday or New Years to learn new habits, sign up for courses, and devote time to what you love. Timothy Pichel believes that you do not need to voice your intentions in front of a wide range of people - in this way you will already receive a reward in the form of admiration of loved ones. This will have a good effect on the current state and, possibly, give strength for accomplishment, but in the future, a loud statement will reduce motivation, because the brain has already enjoyed the theoretical achievement.
Dr. John Michael, a philosopher at the University of Warwick, believes that loved ones can still help build motivation. He argues that a person is more likely to stick to a promise if he knows that the result is important not only to him. This means that you are more likely to go for a run if it is joint, or to get a promotion for the material well-being of your family.
From complex to simple
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If you still want to mark the timeline for entering a new life and becoming the best version of yourself, choose a few simple promises. They can be performed in parallel with complex ones. But the latter often depend on the circumstances and require serious effort, while the former are easier to implement. If the global goal is to lose weight, then small promises can be a workout once a week, eliminating sugar from the diet, or evening walks with a friend. Dr. Ann Swinburne, a psychologist at James Cook University in Australia, believes the best decisions are short pieces of a long-term plan, not vague ambitious goals. “People who rely on willpower mostly fail,” says Dr. Swinborne. “To achieve what you want, you need to be meticulous and be able to plan.”>