New Years’ resolutions rarely bring the lasting change that you hope for. The number one resolution - losing weight - makes sense considering the epidemic of obesity and related diseases, and our genuine desire to look and feel better.
But since only 8% of people who make resolutions actually stick to them, the question remains why do we keep making resolutions, especially if we know we are probably not going to keep them?
Anyone who has ever made and broken a New Year’s Resolution can appreciate the difficulty of behavior change. When we think of behavior change, we usually are at one the following three stages.
Not Ready - You are not intending to take action in the near future, and can be unaware that your behavior is a problem.
Getting Ready - You are beginning to recognize that your behavior is problematic, and you start to reflect on the pros and cons of your continued habits.
Ready - You are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behavior change.
Action - You have made specific actions in modifying your problem behavior or you have begun acquiring new healthy behaviors.