A survey of more than 1,000 Australians has revealed that in spite of the best intentions, most New Year's resolutions have hit the dust by now, relegated to the pile of lost dreams and unfulfilled ambitions, replaced by jam doughnuts and lapsed gym memberships.
The survey, conducted by Pilot Pen Australia and online site Femail, revealed that only 14 per cent of people had success in sticking to their New Year's resolution with the majority saying they have never had success at all.
'Every year around 40 per cent of Australians write down their New Year's resolutions, yet only around 12 per cent actually stick to them1," says psychologist Ms Nicole Pierotti.
Lack of will power was cited as the most common cause of failure by 38 per cent of survey respondents, closely followed by -unrealistic goals and expectations'.
Losing weight was the top New Year's Resolution (30 per cent), followed by getting fit and exercising (22 per cent). Going on holiday/travelling was a goal for 6 per cent while 4 per cent were determined to keep in touch with family and friends this year.
Interestingly 80 per cent said they found it easier to stick to a goal if they wrote it down on paper with a pen with 88 per cent saying they love the sense of achievement that comes with crossing or ticking off items on a -to do' list.
Just 12 per cent used a smart phone or tablet with most (30 per cent) choosing a special diary or journal to make their resolutions special and meaningful."
'We conducted the survey to research hand writing habits and goal setting and it's great to see that pen power tops technology!" said Ms Barbara Oliver, marketing manager, Pilot Pen Australia.
Ms Pierotti says that writing goals down by hand can help achieve success at goal completion.
'The simple act of handwriting your goals is an empowering approach to framing your tasks in an action orientated way and will help you enjoy a sense of achievement as tasks are completed."
'Frixion erasable ink pens are a great tool to help you – they contain thermo-sensitive ink which disappears when rubbed out with the built-in eraser so you can rub each goal out as you achieve it, for the ultimate in goal kicking satisfaction!" said Ms Barbara Oliver.
Top Tips For Goal Setting
Nicole Pierotti points out that the reason most resolutions fail is that we need the tools to turn them from simple -wishes' into actual achievements, which requires some commitment and careful planning.
Here are Nicole's top tips on making new years resolutions that work:
Baby Steps- rather than list the final goal, start with a list of smaller steps required to make the changes that lead to the final goal. Eg, if the goal is -get fit, then list how you will change your diet and exercise program to achieve this goal.
Connect – tune into the feeling you have when you visualise your goal, eg -happy', -light', -positive'. Tuning into feelings will help you visualise your goal and bring it to fruition.
Back and forth – it's worth taking the time to reflect on your previous experiences of making a resolution and then thinking forward into the future. Taking time to review and reflect on the past can give you the determination and commitment to achieve your goal going forward.
Stop and pause – be prepared to reflect on and review your goals along the way. Goals can be refined as situations or circumstances change, fore example if you are on a diet but have a special occasion, you might decide to give yourself the night off. It's OK to learn as you go and allow yourself to review and modify your goals along the way. Being realistic can help keep you on your path without becoming disillusioned.
Australian Science Media Centre briefing, 2012.
Nicole Pierotti is a child psychologist and parenting expert. She runs her own clinic -Baby Smiles' based in Queensland. For further information, visit: www.babysmiles.com.au.
For further information about Frixion, visit: www.pilotpen.com.au.