New Year’s Resolutions Usually Fail
By: 2SC Staff
New Year’s resolutions almost always fail. That may sound negative but it’s true. The research suggests that over 90% of people who make a resolution for the New Year are not able to reach their goal. There are a number of reasons New Year’s resolutions fail, which run the gambit. Some of these include having unrealistic goal expectations to not emotionally/mentally preparing for “the work” required to reach a place of success.
Rather than set yourself up for failure, it might be helpful to ditch the standard New Year’s resolution and replace it with something more realistic – like a theme.
Are New Year’s Resolutions a recipe for failure?
New Year’s resolutions are often lofty. For example, you may have a resolution to start working out 5 times a week – but is that realistic? Have you really mapped out everything that you will need to have in place in order to hit the gym on a regular basis?
Another example might be a New Year’s resolution to lose 30 lbs. That’s fine and dandy but did you create a plan for success? What changes will you need to make in order to shed those pounds?
A final new year’s resolution that many people have is to save more money. Not a bad goal for sure but how much money are you looking to sock away? Did you create a budget? Is that budget truly doable?
Simply stating the goal may make you feel good but without a plan, these resolutions are a recipe for failure. More importantly, these resolutions may be ambiguously unrealistic.
New Year’s Themes
Using the examples above, it might better serve you to focus on a theme for the New Year with the use of some concrete tools. Let’s take a look at how replacing “resolutions” with “themes” might be a better approach.
New Year’s Theme: Fitness
If your goal is to engage in strength training after December 31st, start to think of lifestyle changes that support your general theme of fitness. Examples might be committing to being more physically active on a daily basis. If the gym is part of that commitment – great! If however fitness is achieved by taking the stairs instead of the escalator, fine. The idea here is to mindfully incorporate fitness into various parts of your day and not hanging all of your exercise goals on making it to the gym.
New Year’s Theme: Slimming Down
If your goal is to lose belly-fat for the New Year, it might be helpful to assess what realistic things you can do to create change. If going on a crash diet, coupled with a heavy exercise plan is your plan, you might be setting yourself up for failure. What would it be like if you decided to theme your new year around slimming down instead? Is it possible that you can decide to make healthier food choices and combine those choices with increased physical activity? An example might be opting for fresh fruit as a snack instead of chips. A slim down theme might also include walking to the store for household staples instead of driving.
New Year’s Theme: Money Mindfulness
If your goal is to save more money in the New Year, a thematic approach might be making the conscious choice to simply journal all of the spending you do in a given day over the course of a week. Increasing your awareness around money is a first step towards the ultimate goal of saving money. Once money mindfulness is in place, you will be in a much better place to monitor your spending and go about the business of attracting wealth.
New Year’s resolutions are well intentioned and there is no question that some people are able to reach their desired goals. Still, the evidence suggests that most of us struggle with making that resolution a reality – at least for the long term. Motivation for sustained change requires ongoing focus with short term results that easy to measure.
The nice thing about theming your New Year is that you can build up to a given goal incrementally, over the course of time. One thing that can help you reach various goals is having someone who can help with accountability. Examples include folks like life coaches, personal trainers or even close friends.
We hope you have a great New Year and that what you have read here helps to remove some of the pressure so many people feel to create change. Remember, it’s all about small steps, which ultimately create the dynamic of personal transformation.