Less meat and more yoga. Or less sugar, more sleep? Whatever your resolution is, good luck trying to stick to it all year.
It’s the second week of January, and for many people that means you’re either still trying your best to keep a New Year’s Resolution or you’ve already failed. But why is it so hard to keep a New Year’s resolution?
“Willpower doesn’t change overnight. If you are accountable socially to someone that has a higher success rate.” - Julia Dhar, Boston Consulting Group
Julia Dhar, the Boston Consulting Group’s cofounder and leader of BeSmart, a behavioral economics and insights initiative, knows a bit about the reasons that keep so many people from sticking to their resolution. She says the trick is not just setting a goal, but creating a plan.
It’s not enough to have good intentions. According to Dhar, we all need to be self aware and realistic about what we are capable of. “Willpower doesn’t change overnight,” she says, which is why it can be effective to tell other people about your resolution. “If you are accountable socially to someone that has a higher success rate,” says Dhar, who describes accountability as everything from a support group to an exercise class.