As we welcome the New Year, many of you will embark on the journey of behavior change, spurred by the tradition of making New Year's resolutions. According to an October 2023 survey of 1,000 Americans, a notable 64 percent of women and 60 percent of men acknowledged feeling pressured to formulate resolutions. Weight loss and an improved diet emerged as the top priorities, with 34 percent and 32 percent of respondents, respectively, setting these goals.
Surprisingly, the survey revealed a high level of optimism, with 86 percent of participants believing that their resolutions would have a lasting positive impact beyond 2024. However, scientific research suggests that by the time February arrives, a staggering 80 percent of resolutions falter.
Given these statistics, understanding the complexities of behavior change is crucial. Numerous theories have been developed to shed light on the factors influencing our behavior and how we can effectively enact change. Among these theories are the Theory of Planned Behavior Change, Habit Theory, Trans-Theoretical Model, Social Cognitive Theory, and Control Theory.
I find behavior change theories to be so interesting—each theory offers different techniques that are valuable for anyone seeking to improve any behavior. Depending on a person’s personality, one technique may work better for them than another.
Through the month of January, I will delve into the intricacies of behavior change through a dedicated blog series. This series aims to explore these theoretical frameworks, offering insights and strategies to help individuals navigate the challenges of sustaining positive behavioral changes.
As we navigate the complexities of behavior change, it becomes evident that a thoughtful understanding of the underlying theories can significantly contribute to success. Despite the initial enthusiasm associated with New Year's resolutions, the journey toward lasting change requires a nuanced approach informed by scientific principles and comprehensive insights. Stay tuned as Kelly's Choice embarks on a journey to unravel the science behind behavior change in the coming days.
Sutton, Jeremy. "How to Change Behavior & Habits: 15 Therapy Techniques." Positive Psychology, 1 Feb. 2022, https://positivepsychology.com/behavior-change-techniques/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2023.
Davis, Sarah, and Alena Hall. "New Year's Resolutions Statistics." Forbes, 18 Dec. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/new-years-resolutions-statistics/. Accessed 27 Dec. 2023.
"The Science Behind Behavior Change." Columbia University Irving Medical Center, 20 Feb. 2018, https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/news/science-behind-behavior-change. Accessed 27 Dec. 2023.