What Have You Got To Lose?

Posted On 6 Jan 2016

What Have You Got To Lose?

6 Jan 2016
What Have You Got To Lose?

What Have You Got To Lose?

Finding it hard to stick to your New Year’s resolution? You’re not alone…

It’s been less than a week since New Year’s and will power is already starting to wane. No judgment here… sticking to a goal can be tough, but what if there was a way to increase your chances of success simply by looking at what you have to lose rather than gain?

Let’s backtrack…

It’s January 1st and you’ve made your New Year’s resolution. Let’s go with “to swear less” as an example. This is a great resolution… it’s straightforward and most importantly, it’s achievable (there’s nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure).

But we’ve made a crucial error… we know our potential gains, but what have we got to lose?

According to loss aversion theory, people prefer to avoid losses than acquire gains. Consider the following: 10 minutes into a film, you decide you hate it. You’ve already paid for your ticket and won’t get your money back if you leave, so do you stay or go? Most people will sit through the entire film in misery over reclaiming their day, because who wants to spend their money and not get anything in return? In other words, losing the cash is a greater motivator than the possibility of a gain.

It’s this same concept that should be applied to New Year’s resolutions…

We’ve resolved to swear less… perfect! But what happens when we break this resolution? Rather than chucking in the towel, get yourself a swear jar and set yourself a bet; for every time you break your resolution, it’s time to part with your hard earned cash. Resolved to eat healthier food this year? Force yourself to down the world’s most foul tasting health shake for every time you stray off course.

Because at the end of the day, no one really cares about how successful you are at sticking to your goal. The point is that you simply persevere.

And if worse comes to worse, maybe you fail miserably… but at least the swear jar will be full!