When the facts tell you that 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail, you know that there’s a problem. Yet, 45% of Americans look over this fact and spend time thinking up new ones every year. Well, I’m tired of seeing this happen year after year, so that’s why episode eighty-nine is on New Year’s Resolutions. As a life coach I have found that some things work, and other things don’t, and I want to tell you what I’ve found.
So, here are the six top reasons that New Year’s resolutions don’t work:
Most people aren’t very specific.
The top five New Year’s resolutions are lose weight, get organized, spend less and save more, enjoy life to the fullest, and staying fit and healthy. As you can see, people aren’t very specific with their resolutions. This is where goals differ from resolutions. Use SMART goals to help you stay on track in the future, and see the difference that well-thought-out goals differ from writing the first thoughts that come to your mind.New Year's resolutions are for people who don't believe in the power of setting goals all year long. Click To Tweet
Most people don’t find their why.
You need a reason to why you are pursuing your goals. What’s the reason behind the reason? Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get more organized? Why do you need to spend less and save more? Why do you want to enjoy life to the fullest? Why do you want to stay fit and healthy? Yes, all of these things would make life easier, but why is that important to you? Your answers to this question should be tied into your goal to remind you why you are pursuing it in the first place, because if you forget the reason, you’ll likely quit before seeing the finish line.
There aren’t many people who have found passion.
This point ties perfectly into the last point, because once you know your why, you have what you need to begin your pursuit. This is the main reason that only eight percent of people complete their New Year’s resolutions. These people don’t know why they want what they want, and so they don’t have their fuel to push them forward. If your goal is to just go to the gym, you first need to tie it to the facts that it will help you lose weight and keep it off, make you feel better, give you more energy, make your thinking process more effective, relieve stress, better your heart health, extend your day, and will ultimately help you live longer. Now, that’s something we can all get passionate about.
There are many people who aren’t realistic.
If you want to run a marathon, that’s great. I do, too. But it would be unrealistic to think that you can go and run a marathon without first being able to run a mile. This podcast episode is centered around health, as it is the top resolution that people have, but each principle here applies to whatever goal you are chasing. If you take anything away from this point, it should be that you need to put the necessary work in before you can expect to see success.
I wouldn’t focus on your goal of losing 40 pounds, but I would focus on losing ten. I wouldn’t fast meals entirely, but I would cut out the foods that will help you lose weight. Remember, we need to look at what you will realistically do here. Again, this is pertaining to your health, but it also applies to other things. I wouldn’t focus on becoming a millionaire without first paying off all of your debt. I also wouldn’t focus on getting organized until you get rid of everything you don’t want first.
Without preparation you will only come up short on your goals, which leads to bigger amounts of frustration than anyone needs to deal with. When this happens, not finding success seems like failure, but it’s really a lack of preparation. Put the time in now and find success in the future. That’s how it has always worked, and it’s how it will always work in the future.
Being realistic doesn’t allow for shortcuts, but it requires hard work and determination to find success with your goals. There’s no need to go full throttle, but you should ease yourself into your goals instead. Goals aren’t accomplished overnight, but when we are realistic, know where we are, and take baby steps, our goals will be much easier to achieve.
A lot of people don’t take timing into consideration.
Let’s be honest. One of the biggest reasons that resolutions don’t stick is that everyone who makes them has found themselves lazier the past two months than the previous ten. During November and December people like to eat, they find themselves sleeping longer due to having Christmas breaks and kids being out of school, and the weather is frigid, which nobody likes. It’s much more difficult to get motivated in winter, and then to try to shock yourself with drastically changing everything that you have been doing for the past eight weeks is quite the feat.
So, you have two options here to help you with your goals for 2016. First, you can create habits that you stick to every single day, instead of trying to unlearn every bad habit that you pick up along the way. Or, you could use timing and your surroundings to your advantage. In the case of your health, I wouldn’t try running in the snow, but I would suggest a gym membership during the winter months. Timing has a lot to do with what you will accomplish and what you won’t, so be aware of how it plays into what goals you set, and if you accomplish them or not.
A lot of people are pursuing too much.
One of the main reasons that people don’t complete their resolutions is that they have ten written down and are pursuing them all at once. Goal chasing never turns out well when done this way. Dream big and take one goal at a time. Once you complete your one goal, then add another one. Trying to pursue too many goals at once decreases focus and prolongs success. Unless you need to work on a goal that requires something of you way in advance, the best thing you could do is to focus on one goal until you see it finished, and then begin chasing another. And if this doesn’t work, you may need to bring people alongside you to help you find success. Doing this will help save you time, too.
When you are able to prioritize you goals, and can use the momentum you find in completing one goal at a time, you will systematically complete everything you’ve ever wanted to. Until then, just keep putting in the work.