Each January brings in a new year, as well as half a dozen well-intentioned resolutions for change. Although the year starts off hopeful, some motivation may be lost quickly within the first few weeks.
A poll conducted by the University of Scranton showed only 8 percent of those who make resolutions actually keep them.
Dr. Veola Vazquez, associate dean of the School of Behavioral Sciences at California Baptist University, said the cause of this low success rate could be a lack of preparation.
Vazquez said an important concept to take into consideration when resolving to change or form a habit is the five-stage stages of change model.
The model includes precontemplation, contemplation, determination, action, maintenance and relapse. Vazquez explained many people jump straight from precontemplation to action without taking the time to process what it
“Maybe they put something into action without truly being ready to change, which is why sometimes they last two weeks,” Vazquez said.
Jessi Bullis, senior psychology major, resolved to reserve video streaming websites such as Netflix and YouTube and social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook for weekend use only.
“I started realizing I was spending so much time by myself doing those things,” Bullis said. “Those were times I could have been spending intentional time by myself or investing into other people.”
Bullis said she spent time figuring out a goal that would be realistic and attainable but also rigorous enough.
“On New Years Eve, I spent the day thinking through and praying through all of my goals,” Bullis said. “There was a lot of thinking going into it.”
Bullis said she believes she was ready for the change when she made her resolution and that has helped her stick to it, along with the benefits that came from it.
“I sleep well and I get to actually be all there when I spend time with people,” Bullis said. “Even with homework I’m a lot more focused,” Bullis said.
Vazquez said an important factor in maintaining a habit is community and makes the time students have at CBU an ideal period to create lasting habits.
“It’s a built-in support group,” Vazquez said. “It’s a great time to find connection with like-minded people who have similar struggles as well as mentors who are older, who have been there, who know how to mentor the younger generation.”
Bullis meets with a friend once a week for a time of accountability and during that time she is also asked about her resolution. Bullis said others also help support her.
“There are certain people who will ask me about it every few days,” Bullis said. “There are definitely people who think I’m crazy and don’t know why I’m doing it but I haven’t had any negative responses to it.”
Bullis said after seeing all the positive benefits of her resolution, they completely outweigh the negatives and have made the resolution worth keeping.