New Years Resolutions
Those stats don't tell us WHY such a small percentage of people are unable to follow through and meet their goals, or why they can meet them initially but why the changes are likely to be lost over time. But I have a few educated guesses.
I am a big believer in SMART goals:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – realistic
T – time-based
This means that having concrete, clear goals that you can evaluate and test to see if you're on track are much more likely to succeed than lofty or complicated aspirations. We would all have better odds of sticking with our New Years Resolutions if we focused on making SMART goals.
Let's take an example: you know you want to improve your job satisfaction and have a career that makes you happy, and you're ready to take steps in 2017 to help make this happen. Well, that can sound like a goal in itself, but it isn't really a "SMART" goal. What do you need to do? How will you know you're getting closer? What are the first steps? How long should this take? A SMART goal might look like prioritizing completing that continuing education training that you've been meaning to do, so that in 3 months you can approach your boss and report on your success and have a discussion about future opportunities.
Change is hard. I think we all know that at some level, but we really need to understand this. Try setting yourself up for success, by coming up with a clearly defined goals and the specific steps you need to take to get there. And know that you don't have to do it alone. Enlist friends or family to help you, if you can. And if you could benefit from accessing the services of a professional, such as a doctor or counsellor, start there. Now could be the perfect time.