Winter holidays are weird. First we give thanks, then we shop like crazy, then we gift the gifts and then we write out a list of things we want to improve or better in our lives. (Thanksgiving > Black Friday > Christmas > NYE ) (Yes, black Friday is a holiday of sorts). My entire life I’ve made some sort of new year’s resolution and I don’t think year after year they’ve ever stuck. My New Years resolutions fail continuously almost every year.
I remember all the years and years of “lose weight” being my new years resolution. Nothing really beyond that. Every New Years eve since I was a kid I’ve made that same resolution. In more Recent years, I started writing goals more than resolutions but even still have struggled to stay focused and meet them. I think though for 2020 we all get a free pass for not meeting those 2020 resolutions and goals don’t you think?
Pandemic aside, there are a few reasons why we as humans rarely follow through and meet the goals and resolutions that we set for ourselves on the brink of the new year. After doing some research there seems to be three major reasons why new years resolutions fail.
You are not ready to change. According to Psychology Today, If you are setting goals for yourself you are obviously interested in some sort of change but failing to lay the road map to get there can signal that you might not be ready to make the necessary changes to get to your end goal.
Your goals are not specific enough. In the example of “lose weight” that is a pretty broad goal. How much weight? When is the stopping point? How am I going to do that? When a goal lacks the specifics we lose sight of how to get there. Breakdown your large goal into small achievable steps. Run a 5k, pack my lunch 3x a week etc.
Your goals focus only on the negative. Let’s continue on with the weight loss example. If we continuously focus and frame our goals into everything we CAN’T do soon enough it’s going to get overwhelming and we’re going to quit. Instead of listing out action items like not going out for lunch, reframe it into something you CAN do. Ex. I will pack my own lunch 3x a week. I will not spend money on ____ , instead I will save X amount a week.
50% of goals have to do with health and finances (lose weight, get a raise) and by February of that same year almost 80% of people have given up on those types of goals and resolutions that they have set forth for themselves. (Forbes) There are so many reasons why New Years Resolutions Fail but the three reasons above seem like a great place to start and course correct. I haven’t decided if I am going to write out some resolutions this year yet. I have some ideas but I haven’t had time to write them out. Some are personal and some are professional goals.
What about you? Do you love the blank slate the new year offers you? Or, do you welcome January 1 in like every other day? If you make New Years Resolutions do you keep them?