New Year's Eve is a time of new beginnings. It's the time to shut the door on the mistakes of old and vow to do better next year. Unfortunately, whether it's getting finances in better shape, losing weight or quitting a smoking habit, few New Year's resolutions make it through February.
Indeed, a study by the authors of a book on behavioral change found that 98% of those who made New Year's resolutions failed to change their bad behaviors. The problem isn't willpower, said Joseph Grenny, the best-selling co-author of "Change Anything." It's really that the deck is stacked against change. Your habits, friends and even the television shows you watch, are likely to encourage the status quo.
Few people understand the multitude of factors that hold us back from changing behaviors so we imagine that the problem is simply a lack of willpower, he added. In fact, what's usually lacking are the skills to identify and remove the hurdles that trip us up.
Unless you want to live up to those "never change" yearbook cliches, it's time to take a look at seven ways to beat the odds and keep your New Year's resolutions.
1. Baby steps