We hear every year that the vast majority of New Year’s Resolutions fail. But why is that? How can we learn from all that failure to ensure we succeed? Here are some of the reasons for failure – and a solution for each.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐞: 𝐔𝐧𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 – 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐬 (𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐬) 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐟𝐚𝐬𝐭.
The solution: Start small and consistently progress. Here’s an obvious example that makes the point well. If you want to become a runner, you don’t try a marathon on your first day. Maybe you commit to jogging for five minutes a day on three days a week for the first couple weeks, and then add a minute or two at a time until you’re comfortable jogging for longer distances.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐞: 𝐆𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐧𝐞𝐫.
The solution: Involve a friend, loved one or acquaintance…or, best yet – a coach! Share your goals. Keep each other on track through mutual reliance and accountability. The reason for failure: Not planning and then stumbling into each new week without thinking about it. The solution: Sitting down with a calendar now and again at the start of each month to see what’s coming up that a) might be an opportunity for you or b) might be a challenge. Surprises will still occur, of course, but you’ll be less likely to be thrown off your game.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐞: 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠.
The solution: Regularly assess your progress and write it down. This will keep you from feeling frustrated because you are probably making progress even when it feels pointless. Stay in the “gain” idea – where you’re improving, as the facts show — rather than in the “gap” – between present reality and an impossible ideal.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐞: 𝐍𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐤.
The solution: Learning to rise above all that nonsense. Give yourself positive affirmations every day. Reward progress as you make it. Be grateful for everything that’s going well. HELP SOMEONE ELSE. Now, these were culled from research, experience, and common sense around the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. But they’re solid statements that can guide you at any point in life, no matter what the calendar says.
𝐁𝐔𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐌𝐀𝐈𝐍 𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐎𝐍 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐅𝐀𝐈𝐋𝐔𝐑𝐄 𝐈𝐒: 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐇𝐀𝐕𝐄 𝐀 𝐕𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐎𝐅 𝐖𝐇𝐎 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐖𝐀𝐍𝐓 𝐓𝐎 𝐁𝐄. The solution: Take 30 min and write in a journal (not your computer) and brainstorm on who you want to be. What does it feel like? What does it look like? What emotions does it bring up for you? NOW set the goals that bring you closer to this. 😀
Sometimes you just gotta look at something from a different angle!
Whadda ya think?
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