New Year’s resolutions are an ancient tradition. Babylonians pledged to return anything they borrowed and repay any debts at the beginning of each year. Ancient Romans made vows to the god Janus (where January gets its name), at this time of year. And, although I don’t have exact statistics, I’m sure even in ancient times these resolutions went unfulfilled.
However, this year, you can help increase your chances of keeping your 2017 New Year’s resolutions, with a little help from psychology.
Psychologists note for a behavioral change to happen, there are three things that need to happen:
- The person must be motivated to achieve the goal.
- The person must be capable of achieving the goal.
- The person must have the opportunity to achieve the goal.
Motivation and Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution
The first question you need to ask yourself when making a New Year’s resolution is —
If there was no one else pressuring me or I was trying to impress, what would I like to change about myself?
I’ve talked about this a lot in the forums. Your male enhancement goals should not be centered on pleasing someone else. Instead, it should be about making yourself happy — making you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
This is internal motivation versus external motivation.
Numerous studies have shown that people who are motivated by factors that are for themselves, as opposed to for other people, are far more likely to be successful in achieving their goals.
Your Willpower Capability and Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution
The good news — Psychological research shows that willpower is not something you are born with… or without. Instead, it can be something you can exercise and get stronger. Additionally, it’s also a resource that can be depleted, when overused. This is critical when achieving your New Year’s resolution.
In a classic willpower experiment, some volunteers were invited to eat chocolate chip cookies. The other volunteers were asked to resist the cookies, but could eat radishes. Then, all volunteers were given a very difficult geometry puzzle to try to solve. The volunteers who ate the cookies spent a longer time trying to figure out the puzzle. Those who had to use willpower and only eat radishes spent less time trying to figure out the puzzle and gave up more quickly. They had used all of their willpower avoiding the cookie yumminess, and had very little left to devote to the puzzle.
Interestingly, this can affect your capability to keep your New Year’s resolution, if your willpower is being spent elsewhere. If you’re New Year’s resolution list is really long — chances are the willpower you use to try to fulfill one or more of these items means your willpower will be depleted for the others. Even little willpower events – like making yourself do something your don’t want to do that’s non-resolution related, or resisting a desire, or even preventing yourself from going to the bathroom when you need to, can all deplete your willpower resource.
For this reason, you should tackle your resolutions one at a time. Focus on one, example: using your extender 5 days a week, until that becomes your normal – and is simply a habit that doesn’t require willpower. Then, move on to the next resolution.
Of course, occasionally pushing your willpower to its limit can actually strengthen your ability. When you do this occasionally, and are successful at pushing through, you can use that success mentally, to help you the next time your willpower is challenged.
Opportunity and Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution
Having the opportunity to meet your New Year’s resolution is the last piece of the resolution success puzzle. Just having a goal that expresses a desired outcome isn’t enough to guarantee success, unless it’s something super easy. If your goal is challenging in any way, there’s likely going to be what psychologists call an “intention-behavior gap.”
This gap between your intention (resolution goal) and your behavior (what you actually do) can widen significantly, when obstacles get in the way of your opportunities to complete tasks needed to reach your goals.
For example — You decide your going to us your Bathmate pump every morning, while you shower to help you meet your enlargement goals this year. You’ve planned an opportunity! YAY! However, what happens when your alarm doesn’t go off one morning and you wake up late, and have to skip your shower to get to work on time? What happens if your partner is in the bathroom one morning, while you’re showering, and you’re uncomfortable with pumping in front of them? Little unexpected obstacles can derail your behaviors — taking away your planned opportunity.
For this reason, you need a plan B for your goals. If X happens, then I’ll do Y. By pre-planning what will happen in case you encounter an obstacle, you take away the mental energy expenditure you’d need, if the obstacle came up and you didn’t have a plan. You pretty much can function on autopilot, even when an obstacle arises, making it more likely you’ll complete the behavior you need to do, to step towards your goal.