Have you ever heard of the sunk cost principle? It is business terminology that refers to how much time, money and resources one has invested that can no longer be recovered. It’s gone, baby, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So move on.
According to a University of Scranton, research found that just 8 percent of individuals actually achieve their New Year’s goals. The study showed that our brains are unable to process large lists, therefore making them counter-productive to our accomplishments. When you begin making an extremely long list, a Forbes article states that attempting to always knock the ball out of the park can be “psychologically daunting.”
Journalist and author of Mind Over Mind suggest keeping resolution lists shorter. While we’re still have more than half a year to go to reach Jan. 1, it is for certain that we all have at least one goal we’d like to have come to fruition next year. There is nothing wrong with having a dozen or so goals on your “to do list,” but have you reached a point where you feel like throwing in the towel?
|Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology|
|Research Date: 1.1.2014|
|Rank||Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014|
|3||Spend Less, Save More|
|4||Enjoy Life to the Fullest|
|5||Staying Fit and Healthy|
|6||Learn Something Exciting|
|8||Help Others in Their Dreams|
|9||Fall in Love|
|10||Spend More Time with Family|
|News Years Resolution Statistics||Data|
|Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions||45%|
|Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions||17%|
|Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions||38%|
|Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution||8%|
|Percent who have infrequent success||49%|
|Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year||24%|
|People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions|
|Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions)||Data|
|Self Improvement or education related resolutions||47%|
|Weight related resolutions||38%|
|Money related resolutions||34%|
|Relationship related resolutions||31%|
|Age Success Rates||Data|
|Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year||39%|
|Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year||14%|
|Length of Resolutions||Data|
|Resolution maintained through first week||75%|
|Past two weeks||71%|
|Past one month||64%|
|Past six months||46%|
Here are a few things to consider before deciding to pull the plug on your goals:
Ask yourself what goal is the most important. In other words, prioritize. The goal that can wait until later is just that, best done later. That doesn’t mean it won’t get done. It just means that it’s not priority.
What if you are immersed in your “priority goal” and feel like you’ve already sunk too much time, money and effort in to it? Ask yourself what would be the ramifications if you decide to eat the cost on this one and chuck it? Will you regret it forever? Or is it better to not waste anymore resources on seeing it through to completion?
You’re stumped on a goal and you realize that, wait a second, this goal isn’t a priority. Maybe you’ve been focused on the wrong goal or the goal that distracted your attention, and now something more pressing needs to get done. Definitely set this goal aside, at least temporarily. Again, you don’t have to give up on it. Since you hit a wall it’s a good time to take a break and invest in something that deserves your exclusive concentration.
Look through your rolodex, your contacts or obtain a lawyer. Basically, get an expert at the task you’re attempting to accomplish. Say you’re trying to lose weight, as you were doing well before hitting a plateau. Ask a nutritionist or personal trainer for advice. If you don’t know anyone who’s qualified, the Internet is the next best resource. You can research anything and everything or purchase a book if online articles aren’t in depth enough.
When life gets in the way of our vision, it can be quite easy to get discouraged. Anything can happen, big or small, but these everyday ups and downs are a fact of life. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can decide how we will react. If you are the overly reactive type, maybe this is the time to take a few steps back and do some soul searching. What is making you react? Why are you reactive? Are you over reacting and, if so, what is the trigger? Stress? Are you dissatisfied with an area in your life?
A good indicator that change is necessary is when we hit an uncomfortable spot and suddenly find ourselves no longer content with the situation at hand. If that is the case, change is a good thing and imperative. People often fear change rather than embracing it, because we’re all afraid to try something unfamiliar even if it might be beneficial.
Sometimes opening our minds to new changes in store for us is the best thing we can do. It is time to get that chin up, put a smile on your face, and make a conscious decision to start thinking outside the box. Don’t give up if the going gets tough, get tougher.