Last month I commissioned an extensive (and statistically valid) survey to study people’s relationship to goals and New Year’s Resolutions. It was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation. The results just arrived in my mailbox today. There are pages and pages of statistics — some of which I will post here in the future. One interesting number that leapt off the page is:
Only 8% of Americans achieve all of their New Year’s Resolutions. 92% fail!
There are many ways to interpret this one figure. The reason for the low success rate may be due to a lack of motivation. It may be due to the selection of the “wrong” resolution. It may be because their targets were unreasonably high (in business we would call these stretch goals) and that in spite of “failure”, there was in fact improvement.
These rates are not unreasonable or unexpected. In business, it is estimated that 75% of all projects fail to achieve their objectives. Does that mean you should not set goals and resolutions? It would be inappropriate to make such a statement from one statistic. However, I do believe that there are alternatives to resolutions that can provide a higher “success” rate, while creating greater motivation and passion.
I will discuss the concept of New Year’s “Themes” — along with more statistics — another time.