Best Bits

9 reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail

You're full of best intentions at the beginning of the year, but how long is it until you throw in t...

10:17 AM - 17 Dec 2014

9 reasons why New Year’s resol...

Best Bits

9 reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail


10:17 AM - 17 Dec 2014

You're full of best intentions at the beginning of the year, but how long is it until you throw in the towel on the annual ritual that is making - and trying to keep - those resolutions?

Fear not! Help is at hand. Perhaps you're making the wrong resolutions, or without the necessary support and back up in place.

Here are 9 reasons why resolutions often don't work - plus some tips on how to give yourself that extra bit of support - thanks to Vicky Kelly, founder of a new goal planning system Yolsk:

1). You are not truly motivated by the resolution:

You are either doing it because you think you should, or because someone else has suggested you should. You will likely fall off whichever wagon you got on relatively quickly.

Tip - take time to consider what the resolution will mean to you if successful and keep focused on that, rather than focusing on the thing that you shouldn't be doing.

2). It’s not specific enough:

If your resolution is to "give up smoking" it's not a very clear instruction to your subconscious mind. So, after a month you could be allowed to feel you've been successful and the motivation wanes.

Tip - be as specific as possible, specify health related goals with measurable effects i.e. reach the end of 2015 as a non-smoker, who is able to ___________ as a result.

3). The resolution is not backed up with feasible actions to make it work:

Many people will just set their goal and pat themselves on the back for having set it, forgetting to think about back up actions to contribute to its success.

Tip - to stick with the smoking example, the actions that this person may need to take might include buying a nicotine substitute or taking up another hobby.

4). You aren't prepared for potential problems, or don't have the resources you need:

To fail to plan is to plan to fail.

Tip - acknowledging the most likely problems at the outset of goal planning will minimise this as much as possible.

5). Didn't share your goals with supportive people.

Sharing your goals is important and it gives you some support and increases your chances of success.

Tip – share with friends, family, an online community – anyone who can give you that support through the year.

6). Forgetting your goal

An amazing number of people fall off the wagon because they forget their original intention, or the reason behind it.

Tip - have a system in place that helps keep your important goals in the forefront of your mind.

7). You take a tiny slip up as a total failure

Relax and give yourself a break from time to time.

Tip - you are the one who decides how successful you are, so it's up to you how you respond to your slip ups.

8). Life gets in the way

Life is busy and days flash by in a whirlwind.

Tip - If you feel the pressures of other things calling you away from achieving your goal, ask yourself: ‘Which of these things is most important to me? Which is going to serve me, and which am I serving?’.

9). You don't really believe in yourself

Most of us have some internal dialogue which puts us down and questions whether we are deserving or capable of success.

Tip - let go of those unhelpful thoughts and embrace life.

Good luck making those resolutions for 2015! 

You might like