Doing sports, eating healthier, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking… Every year, it’s the same thing. We make resolutions that we are not sure we will keep. The proof, nearly 80% of people fail to achieve them. In other words, it is better to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. You may not know it, but there is a trick to achieving your goals. According to this research published in the journal PLOS One, this one is even very simple! You just have to see things more positively and bet on a more encouraging turn. Instead of telling yourself “I’m going to stop or avoid doing this” replace that sentence with “I’m going to start doing this”.
According to Per Carlbring, author of the study, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to “erase a behavior”. However, it is possible to “replace it with another”. In 2017, more than 1000 people participated in a test. After making their resolutions, they were separated into three groups. The first received no supervision, the second was lightly accompanied while the third received regular support throughout the year. But the group chosen at the start did not really matter. “What surprised us were the results obtained according to the wording of the resolutions” underlined Per Carlbring. 60% of people who opted for an “approach objective” succeeded compared to 47% of those who had an “avoidance objective”.
Resolutions without pressure!
Lynn Bufka, associate director general in charge of practical research and policy at the American Psychological Association, let it be known in the columns of HuffPost that she uses this method in her personal life. To reduce her sugar intake, she committed to eating five fruits and vegetables a day. A way to add healthier foods to your diet rather than eliminating certain products. “I encourage anyone who chooses to make resolutions to be realistic and tolerant of themselves. Many people are already exhausted and lack the energy and cognitive resources to deal with major changes. ” she said.