As you would expect, this is the biggest month for new gym signups, as millions of Brits resolve to exercise more and eat more healthily. But by February, 30% of the new year joiners will have dropped out, according to a report in The Guardian today, which goes on to estimate we waste ¬£200 million in gym membership fees each year.
In general, our new year’s resolutions don’t come with a very high expectation of success. Many people go into them expecting to fail, even if they don’t admit this to themselves. And if you’re at all interested in personal development, no doubt your inbox this week will be awash with newsletters from life coaches telling you how to avoid this fate.
Now someone is actually doing some research on what works in resolutions. Professor Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor, is conducting the study. No details on his web site yet, but he does give some tips in this article for increasing your chances of success. The tips iinclude:
- pick just one aspect of life to improve
- plan your resolution in advance, to give yourself time to think about what you really want to achieve – don’t wait until New Year’s Eve
- if a previous resolution didn’t work, don’t repeat it – at the very least try a different way of achieving it
- keep it specific
- reward yourself for steps in the right direction
… all of which will come as no surprise to anyone who knows about NLP.