Only about 10 per cent of people achieve the goals they set for themselves. Twenty five per cent of people who make New Year resolutions give up after the first week.
We can do better with some techniques that work.
Here's what does.
Make a plan, write it down and break it into manageable steps.
Now tell your friends, family and colleagues. Sure, it'll be embarassing if you don't achieve your goal, but that's a risk people who get there are prepared to take.
As you tick off each step towards your goal, remind yourself of the benefits.
Researchers have also discovered what doesn't work.
Thinking about what will happen if we don't get there doesn't work. Nor does relying on willpower or creating fantasies about what it will be like when we have the promotion, the degree or the yacht.
Be realistic about your setbacks. One Canadian study showed that people who kept their resolutions for at least six months were on their fifth or sixth attempt. Refocus and get back on track.
There's more about recovering from setbacks in my books The Village That Could and Success at work and at home