Before the first month of the year has even come to an end, most people have given up on their annual commitment to themselves.

Research conducted by Strava, the social network for athletes, has discovered that Saturday, Jan. 12, is the fateful day of New Year’s resolutions.

After analyzing more than 31.5 million online global activities last January, Strava was able to pinpoint the date when most people report failing their resolution.

“A key factor in success is motivation and analyzing millions of activity uploads, we’ve been able to pinpoint the day your motivation is most likely to waver;” said Gerris Mills of Strava.

According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals, while over 80 percent fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, says US clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani.

The relevant question here is why is this true?  At Tiger we believe it’s mindset, motivation and organization.

Before even beginning a new direction, it’s best to organize your plan around implementing one big habit change at a time.  Additionally, if you don’t know why you are making this change, motivation withers at the first sign of resistance.  So, as Steven Covey taught in 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, begin with the end outcome in mind.  Finally, you must have a growth mindset, believing you can change, seeing the new reality in the theater of the mind before you begin.

A University College London study revealed the median days to establish a habit that becomes automatic at 66 days.   According to Robin Sharma, author of The 5:00am Club, habit formation requires going through three stages:

  • Destruction of old patterns – 22 days.
  • Installation of one new habit – 22 days.
  • Automation of the new habit – 22 days.

The difference between installation of the new habit and automation is consistency of application.   You must be prepared for the emotional and mental aspects of this process.  In reality it will be…

  • Hard in the beginning.
  • Messy in the middle.
  • Beautiful in the end as the new habit takes root.

There are no shortcuts.  No idea works if you don’t do the work.   Do the personal work to connect the dots between the new habit being formed and your why and goals you have for yourself.

At Tiger Neuroscience we provide our clients with a concierge/coach whose job it is to bring accountability to the picture.

  • They ask how it’s been going.
  • If poorly, they ask why?
  • They remind you of your why.
  • Discuss tools or methods to help you restart.

All new actions you intend to become a habit are hard to implement.  It involves neural pathways being destroyed and formed, personal discipline changes and overcoming inertia.   This is why establishing new habits is so hard.  You are literally destructing old habits while building new.

In our experience, people want to be very good at what they do.  If you want top 2% results, you must be willing to do what 98% of people in general are unwilling to do in the area you want to perform better.  Establishing and following new habits is a 2% activity.

So organize your thoughts, check your mindset, and know your why.  Understand it takes 66 days on average to establish one new habit and get to work!