3 Reasons why new year’s resolutions fail
And how to make sure yours FLY.
Has this ever happened to you?
You bounce into January, a shiny new year full of promise, thinking:
“This is it! This year I’m going to double my turnover/spend more time with my friends/run my first half-marathon (delete as appropriate). Nothing’s gonna stop me!”
Only to find yourself feeling sheepish and slumping into February saying:
“Oh well. The idea was nice, but life just seems to get in the way. I’ll try again next year.”
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. A recent US study reported that:
80% of new year’s resolutions fail by mid-February
Whilst this may not surprise you, have you ever wondered why? Here are three reasons why new year’s resolutions fail – and our advice to help make sure yours go the distance.
- Your goal isn’t clear
We’ve spoken before about setting SMART goals, and it’s worth a mention here too. To give you the best chance of success, your resolutions need to be:
Huge, ambitious, life-changing goals are commendable – but can also make you feel overwhelmed. Break your goals into bite-sized, achievable chunks. Measure your progress. Do a two-week, two-month, six-month check-in. Stretch yourself, but be realistic about how much you can do each day without causing burnout. Small changes each day actually add up to massive wins in the long-term.
- You haven’t got a strong enough reason why
We like to take SMART goals a bit further, using SMARTY with an added ‘Why?’. If you can’t answer the why, chances are you’re not going to have the motivation to see your resolution through. It’s the difference between:
“This year I want to get healthy.”
“This year I want to get healthy…to feel more energised, more attractive, to make sure that I can enjoy quality time with my children and join them in games and fun, to make sure I’m around for as long as possible for them and make the most out of my life.”
- You didn’t write it down
If you’re sceptical about the power of writing your goals down, consider this:
A study was conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program.
One simple question was asked:
“Have you set clear written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”
- 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans
- 13% had goals, but they were not in writing
- 84% had no specific goals at all.
When followed up ten years later, the 3% who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together.
Some tips to consider when writing your goals down
- Write them in the present tense as if you’ve just achieved your goal
- Be descriptive – build in feelings and emotions. What can you see, hear, smell? How will you feel at the moment you’ve accomplished what you set out to do?
- Read them aloud every day, or even better, close your eyes and visualise the scene, and feel the emotions of finally realising your goals.
Want more advice on goal-setting and achieving your dreams in 2020?
There’s lots more information in our e-book >> Reflect. Dream. Do.