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1st week of November is New Year’s Resolutions time

11th November 2013 Print

Research shows we’re already thinking about NY resolutions, & experts suggest we should start them now if we want to succeed.

Nationwide research by UK lifestyle magazine, Psychologies, has revealed that a surprising 71% of us will already be thinking about the opportunity that the New Year presents to make changes in our lives, by the first week of November.  The findings indicate that we’re holding out for January 1st, despite the fact that one in five of us admit that we’re currently ‘desperate’ to make a change. Unfortunately, the research also suggests that we’re also almost certainly doomed to fail.

Research found that nearly half (43%) of the UK are looking to make changes to their general health in the New Year, and that even more of us are focused on losing weight (52%). 28% of those looking to improve their health also cited that weight loss was their first priority. The desire to improve fitness followed amongst 18% and 15% of those surveyed said that they needed to reduce the stress and anxiety in their lives.

Nearly a third (72%) of the UK makes New Year resolutions, but the majority of us admit that we’ve failed to succeed in the past, with a staggering 68% giving up within the month of January itself. It’s not surprising, then, that only a depressing 11% of us believe that we’re very likely to stick to the changes that we’re already planning for 2014. This may be particularly worrying because as many as 12% of us state that ‘seeking help for an existing health concern’ is something that currently needs our attention – the same percentage as those who want to change the fact that they smoke (12%).

Life coach and editor of Psychologies, Suzy Greaves, believes that the problem lies with the New Year tradition itself and is urging her readers to boycott January resolutions and just start right now, instead, “It’s not just the post-festivity blues, empty wallets and grim weather that make January a bad time to make positive changes. The January 1st tradition focuses us on one huge goal, like ‘being healthy’ and we feel that we should be able to magically transform our behaviour overnight, rather than implementing smaller changes that work towards the bigger goal, over a realistic time period.

“When we fail to meet this inflated demand, feelings of ‘failure’ negatively reinforce our behaviour to the extent that, as our research has found, over a third of us (39%) don’t try again for another year. Simply put, January 1st creates a vicious loop when it comes to making important – and often vital - changes in our lives. My advice as a life coach is simply to forget January and start now – our current issue has a special report to help readers ditch bad habits and take up good ones by making tiny changes that deliver huge results.”

Other interesting findings included:

Only 8% of the UK claim that they do not need to change any aspects of their lives

12% more women will be making a resolution, compared to men

10% more men report that they have been successful at keeping New Year’s resolutions, compared to women

15% more women believe that they won’t be able to stick to their resolution, compared to men