Wednesday, December 15, 2010

88% of all New Years resolutions fail beacuse we are afraid of change

New Years Eve is getting closer. Time to make plan for the next year; 2011 lays there as a blank slate - or like snow that no one has yet walked on (Swedish way of seeing it...).

Most of us make promises to ourselves on that night, or at least have a think about what we wish to achieve during the new year. But let me disappoint you... 88% of New Years resolutions fail, according to British psychologist Richard Wiseman (author of Quirkology and Luck Factor, great books, I´ve read them 3 times, ha-ha!).  

25% of people who had made resolutions threw in the towel within the first week, wrote University of Toronto Janet Polivy and Peter Herman 2002 in American Psychologist. Pharmacy company Pfizer found that only 11 % of those intending to quit smoking after New Years were successful. (thanks BRW for the article on this)

People say a lot of things; we are good at telling ourselves lies. We buy gym cards but never show up, we say we wish to have a happy marriage but keep on cheating (you know who I am talking about) and we of course, tell research companies we do all kinds of things we wish that we did.

I don´t think it´s about being evil, but about not having the understanding of how powerful and still weak our minds are. When you have been thinking the same thoughts for a lifetime - about who you are, what you are worth, what is good or bad - those thoughts steer your behaviour. To change your behaviour you need to change your thoughts. Just changing your actions is not enough. Your mind will go mental when you do, and your whole being wants to go back to the safe way things used to be. Smoking is not just about the cigarrette, it´s about what you think about you, your parents, other people, the world... Cheating can be a way to show the world how you loath yourself, almost like a cry for help. If you drop the behaviour, you can feel lost and lonely.

This may sound like pop psychology ramble, but it is useful for brands to understand the deep emotional needs and incongruity of humans. Customer might say they want your brand, but 88% make promises to themselves and break them within a few days... Look not to what they say, but what they are truly searching for.

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