Res­o­lu­tions can suc­ceed if planned

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By ADEN MILES

A Waikato- based psy­chol­o­gist spe­cial­is­ing in be­havioural psychology said most New Year’s res­o­lu­tions are too ideal and lack plan­ning.

With only 12 per cent of peo­ple stick­ing to their res­o­lu­tions, the mes­sage comes from The Univer­sity of Waikato’s Dr Re­becca Sargisson who said peo­ple must have a de­tailed plan in or­der for a res­o­lu­tion to suc­ceed.

‘‘My feel­ing would be that peo­ple make res­o­lu­tions that are too am­bi­tious, too vague, or they don’t plan how they will achieve it.

‘‘If the goal is vague, say lose weight, then peo­ple won’t know when they have achieved it; how much is suf­fi­cient?

‘‘If it is too am­bi­tious, say lose 10kg, then they will prob­a­bly give up; the short-term re­ward of eat­ing out­weighs the long-term re­ward of los­ing weight,’’ she said.

Those who plan to lose weight and de­vise a plan to do so will likely be more suc­cess­ful, she said.

A plan would also force peo­ple to be real­is­tic about what they can achieve and would in­clude short-term goals.

‘‘ So, yes, failed res­o­lu­tions are likely too am­bi­tious and too vague on the de­tail.’’

To suc­ceed Dr Sargisson be­lieves mark­ers along the jour­ney should be planned as well as fac­tor­ing ‘‘oc­ca­sional slip-ups’’.

‘‘It seems to me that peo­ple some­times make a res­o­lu­tion and be­lieve that the change must oc­cur on Jan­uary 1 but I also think this is un­re­al­is­tic. For ex­am­ple, if some­one wants to give up smok­ing, the aim should be to give up that year, not nec­es­sar­ily that day.’’

Dr Sargisson said sim­i­lar to other goals, the per­son should have a plan for how they will achieve giv­ing up smok­ing.

‘‘Peo­ple gen­er­ally don’t work well for re­wards or goals that are very dis­tant so it is very im­por­tant to in­clude mile­stones along the way that peo­ple can cel­e­brate, for ex­am­ple: I have lost 1kg or I no longer smoke in my car, to main­tain mo­ti­va­tion to­wards the long-term goal.’’

South Waikato News face­book mem­bers were asked about their res­o­lu­tions for 2013: Caitlin Wal­lace: ‘‘Be­ing more open-minded and con­fi­dent to­wards new op­por­tu­ni­ties.’’ Kerry Purdy: ‘‘Mine is to lose weight and not find it again.’’ Ange Richards: ‘‘Give up smok­ing. I lasted half of New Year’s Day.’’ Natasha Kane Malone Martin-King: weight.’’ Kar­lena White­head: ‘‘Pay off my OE I went on last year and save for the next one.’’

‘‘ Lose

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