London: A new study has shown that many people, who make New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking and drinking, are not able to stick to them for more than a week.
According to health campaigners Change4Life, attempts to quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol at home or eat healthier food would be far more successful if people got support.
University of Hertfordshire researchers followed 2,000 people who made a two-week resolution and found that those who relied solely on their own willpower failed even before the halfway stage.
The study also found that just 30 percent of women stuck to their guns, compared with 37 percent of men, and that those who told family and friends about their plans were far more likely to succeed.
The study, led by psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, monitored progress as the participants made healthy changes to their behaviour.
Just 26 percent of those who relied on willpower managed to keep to their goal, but 35 percent of those who tried other techniques had better success.
The research found other techniques for success included visualising or imagining a better life once the goal is achieved.
“All too often New Year’s resolutions fail because people try to do too much too soon and don’t seek the right support to help them achieve their goals,” the Daily Mail quoted Professor Wiseman, the author of ‘59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change A Lot’, as saying.
“People who rely on willpower alone are much less likely to succeed than those who try other techniques like telling their friends, rewarding themselves for making progress and removing temptation from their surroundings.
“It is important that we use as much advice and support to see us through the New Year commitments, remembering that overall simple small changes work better and are more achievable in the long run,” he stated.