Millions of people make resolutions at New Years to go on a diet, exercise more, quit smoking, or change their drinking habits; 88% fail and only 12 % succeed according to research by Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol. What is the difference between those who succeed and those who fail? Although will power may play a part, the research shows that will power is not the primary determining factor. Factors which can determine the success of a New Year's resolution include the following:
- Focus on rewarding successes rather than punishing failures
- Get support
- Utilize evidence-based strategies
- Set a doable goal
- Make a step by step plan, preferably in writing
- Track your progress
- Don't beat yourself up for a slip
The HAMS alcohol harm reduction program offers all of the above to help you change your drinking habits for the better.
All too often people have one slip up on the way, decide that they are failures, and abandon their change goals entirely. Dr. Alan Marlatt has dubbed this "the Abstinence Violation Effect." Marlatt found that teaching people to forgive themselves for small lapses prevented them from becoming major relapses and allowed people to get right back into the pursuit of their goals with minimal shame and disruption.