Why new year's Resolutions Fail?

With the new year around the corner, its finally resolutions time. But how far have you gone trying to keep your resolutions? Not far surely. The researchers lead by Cait Poynor of the University of Pittsburgh and Kelly L. Haws of Texas A&M University have finally figured it out why is it so tough to maintain a resolution.

According to the writings in the Journal of Consumer Research, the study uncovered some of the important differences between 'necessities' and 'luxury'. "The data demonstrates the basic differences among consumers in their tendency to embrace indulgence or restriction goals. Even when pursuing the same goal, high and low self-control consumers create dramatically different categories of goal-consistent and goal-inconsistent options," the authors wrote.

The research included three studies to observe the the process the individuals went through while making a change. It showed that first the people chose goals nd then they form "implementation intentions", deciding which options and behaviors are consistent with the goals.

"For example, you might make a budget, deciding which items are necessities and which are luxuries, buy a diet book, which tells you which foods you may and may not eat, or organize your weekly schedule to include work sessions and time to participate in leisure activities," the authors say. "Importantly, results suggest that the goal pursuit process can appear to proceed smoothly but in fact be derailed during this second phase," they add.

It also revealed that the people get tripped up when their goals required them to overcome their default tendencies. The subjects having 'low self-control' do better with 'indulgence goals' like enjoying purchases more. Where as the ones with 'higher-self control' preferred "restriction goals" that led them to categorize fewer items as necessities, the researchers said.

The self control interventions vary depending up on a person's own self-control, as concluded by the authors.

Read more about: new year
Story first published: Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 5:49 [IST]
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