According to a study we recently conducted, those who surround themselves with friends who actively encourage or support their efforts are 38 percent more likely to keep resolutions, break bad habits, and achieve goals.
However, more than 50 percent of people who are trying to achieve a personal goal have one or more active accomplices—someone who enables their bad habit or whose attitude and behavior impedes their success. This 50 percent are significantly less likely to succeed at changing their bad habits as a result of their accomplice.
Follow these four recommendations for activating your friends and kicking out accomplices to achieve goals and break bad habits in 2010:
1. Take an honest inventory of friends and accomplices. Are your close friends and family accomplices or active supporters? What activities do you do together? Who models, encourages or enables your bad habit? Who could you spend more time with that would do the opposite?
2. Convert or push back accomplices. Sincerely share your goals with those who are impeding progress. Ask for their support and help with changing your behavior. In extreme cases, distance yourself from those people whose actions draw you back to your old habits.
3. Surround yourself with supporters. Find as many active supporters as you can. Turn passive supporters into active supporters. Ask these friends to hold you accountable for your behavior and provide coaching and encouragement when you succeed.
4. Be aware of distant acquaintances. It’s fine if distant acquaintances share your bad habit, so long as they don’t actively oppose your efforts to change. If they do, cut back on the time you spend with them until you have your habit under control.