IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A new year, means a new beginning for some people, a time to make positive changes to their lives.
Unfortunately, the change doesn't last long. According to U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of 'resolution-er's' give up by the second week of February.
Dr. Doug Craig at the Psychology Center of Idaho Falls says many factors play into our success or failure, beginning with our attitude.
"We kind of have this attitude in our society that we know that you know that we might start something but it's probably not going to last pretty long, and so we kind of go into it with that expectation," Craig said.
Competing priorities and not having a clear reason to do it are other factors according to Craig, he says combating what's called 'avoidance behavior' isn't impossible.
"Try to put it into, into their normal daily routine, have it kind of be part of their sequence of what they do each day. Routine beats out willpower almost every time," Craig said.
Creating a routine can take 4 to 6 weeks, says Craig. It can be helpful to identify reasons why you're wanting to pursue that goal and then use visual reminders to help you stay focused.
Craig also recommends telling a family member or friend about your goal and reporting your progress to them weekly, also, finding someone with a similar goal and pushing through it together can be highly effective.
If at times you do fail or forget to follow through with your goal, Craig says the most important thing is to just get right back up.
"It can be easy to say, well, I guess this isn't just this just isn't for me it's not going to work. You know, it's just human to forget it's human to not get it done," Craig said.
If you find yourself having completely failed and given up, Craig recommends setting a new date to begin your goal, one much closer than the next new year.
“Maybe just accept the fact that now's not the time, but maybe set a goal for in the spring,” Craig said.