making New Year’s resolutions in a few days and if you’re like most of those
same people you’ll be breaking your resolutions within a few days. According to
one study, more than half the people who make resolutions are confident of
achieving them, yet barely more than 10% do so. That’s amazing because most
resolutions are good ones! Here are a some of the most popular New Year’s
- Spend more time with family
- Lose weight
- Begin exercising
- Quit smoking
- Quit drinking
- Get organized
- Get out of debt
so difficult to achieve for 90% of us? There are probably as many reasons as
there are resolutions and dwelling on them wouldn’t be as beneficial as giving
you scientifically proven ideas that can help make 2015 a year of positive
change for you. Around this time every year I share an influence technique that
can help readers PAVE the way to success in the New Year.
motivator of behavior known as the principle of consistency. This proven
rule tells us people feel internal and external psychological pressure to act
in ways that are consistent with their prior actions, words, deeds, beliefs and
values. When we act in consistent ways we feel better about ourselves and other
people perceive us in a more favorable light.
in order to strengthen the power of consistency in your life. These simple
ideas will help you PAVE the way to success because they’ll dramatically
increase the odds that you’ll follow through on your New Year’s resolutions.
whether verbally or in writing, you’re putting yourself and your reputation on
the line. The mere fact that another person knows your intention and might ask
you how you’re doing is often enough motivation for people to follow through.
Recommendation #1 – Share with another person
or group of people, your New Year’s resolution and ask them to hold you
Merely thinking about a resolution, just keeping it to yourself as some sort of
secret, will lead to the same results as people who don’t make any resolutions.
In other words, nothing will change. This came to light in a study with a group
of students who wanted to improve their college grades. One group was asked to
write their goals down, one group kept their goals in their heads, and the last
group had no specific goal whatsoever. As you can imagine, the group with the
written goals succeeded, with nearly 90% of students increasing by a full
letter grade! With the other two groups the results were identical and poor. In
each group fewer than 1 in 6 students improved a full letter grade. It’s worth
noting, they were all given the same study materials so they all had the same
opportunity to better their GPA.
Recommendation #2 – Make sure you have to take
some active steps. It could be as simple as buying a book to help you learn
more about the changes you’re hoping to make or writing them down.
someone else’s goal for you. If you’re trying to do something – quit smoking,
lose weight, get in shape – it’s not likely your motivation will last if
someone told you to do it. The goal has to come from you because if it’s forced
on you it’s not likely your willpower will last long. Samuel Butler said it
best when he wrote, “He who complies against his will is of the same opinion
Recommendation #3 – Make sure it’s something
you really want to do of your own free choice.
actively do something. In other words, making the commitment should require
some effort on your part. The more effort you expend setting up your goal, the
more likely you are to succeed. Something as simple as writing down your
resolution can make a difference, even if you don’t share it with anyone. But,
taking the time to share it also fulfills the public requirement, which gives
you more bang for the buck! Robert Cialdini puts it this way, “People live up
to what they write down.”
Recommendation #4 – A little more effort, like
committing pen to paper, will increase your chance for success significantly.
Public – Share your resolutions with others.
Active – Make sure to take some active steps.
Voluntary – Make it your goal.
Effort – Commit pen to paper.
guessing many of you haven’t tried the PAVE approach before. If you’ve failed
at your resolutions in the past then give this approach a try. If you fail
again you’re no worse off but this different approach might just be your key to
success in 2015. Good luck and Happy New Year to all of you!
Chief Influence Officer