those New Year’s resolutions are quick to fade away, but why exactly?
While ringing in the New Year, the past suddenly seems unimportant as we ponder an endless list of opportunities to make the upcoming months better.
However, those New Year’s resolutions are quick to fade away.
According the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 45% of Americans will make a resolution. Of that group, only 8% will succeed, while 49% have mixed success and 24% will never reach their goals.
Psychologist Tracy Alderman said one of the leading factors to blame is unrealistic expectations.
“We set our goals way too high,” perhaps because we “get carried away at the moment we make them,” she told USA TODAY.
“Anything sounds possible when you’re celebrating on New Year’s Eve, even losing 30 pounds in a month,” she said. “But it doesn’t happen that easily. You have to keep your goals realistic.”
Losing weight, getting organized, saving money, enjoying life and staying fit are among the most popular goals for 2013.
Josh Bell, a junior at Ohio State University said that he hopes to meet a special someone in 2013.
“I just want to meet a girl,” he said.
His classmate Brad Quakenbush said he also hopes to meet a girl during the upcoming year. Despite their hopes, Quakenbush and Bell’s chances of their resolution becoming a reality might not be as unrealistic as others may think.
John Norcross of the University of Scranton concluded that 75% of resolution-makers will be successful in mid-January, 50% will still be sticking to it by the end of the month and 40%-46% can claim success six months out in 2011.
“If you look at it as the glass being half full, that nearly 50% are making their resolutions stick for at least six months is impressive,” Norcross told USA TODAY.
Kayla Whitehouse, a sophomore at Ohio State, hopes that this year will be different as she “hasn’t really made (resolutions) in the past.” She plans to exercise daily in 2013.
“It probably won’t happen,” she said. “It’s too idealistic and school and work will get in the way. I’ll try though.”
Tatum Tullis, a junior at Ohio State University has also faced resolution disappointment after not fulfilling last year’s goal. However, she has a new goal in mind, to get seven hours of sleep a night.
Research has shown even a bit of success contributes to improvements, however.
“People build on the small successes,” Norcross told USA TODAY. “They learn how not to relapse quickly, they learn what works and what doesn’t work” to keep them motivated and on track.
Alderman also told USA TODAY that setting short- and long-term goals in addition to documenting efforts could increase the chances of keeping your resolution.
Specialists also said that a co-sponsor or partner might be a beneficial ingredient in the mix for support and encouragement.
“Sharing your goals is helpful,” psychologist Frank Farley told USA TODAY. “Often it’s hard to keep to these goals long-term on your own.”
Fighting against the odds, Bell is optimistic about this year’s addition to the resolutions list.
“Anything can happen,” he said.