Why People Fail Their New Year’s Resolutions

Wow. I’m a little late to be posting about New  Year’s.  It’s been 11 days and I’ve already failed my New Years resolution to stop procrastinating. Unfortunately, I’m not the only poor soul.  88% of people fail their New Year’s resolutions, but luckily you have the ability to learn from my other people’s mistakes!

  1. Goal was too unrealistic

In my experience it was so easy to say, “I’ll be fit enough to run a marathon,” a bit more difficult making it happen (it didn’t by the way, I’m still struggling to run to the bus stop).  You’re much more likely to stick to your goals if your goals are small and manageable.  At the beginning when you’re burning with energy and motivation, it doesn’t seem difficult to say you’ll run an hour a day.  Maybe you do in the beginning, but you’re more likely to skip days and slack off than if the goal was to run only 10 minutes a day.

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2. People don’t keep track of their progress.

You skip a day at the gym and another day and by the time February rolls by you’ve had forgotten when was the last time you got off the couch.  There’s a great way to keep track of your progress and manage your discipline that I found on Reddit called the X-effect.  What you do is you make a card with 49 empty squares (7 days a week for 7 weeks).  On the card, write what your goal is and on the back write why you want to accomplish that goal.  Every day you practice your goal, put an X on the square and for the days you don’t practice it, you leave the square for that day blank.  That way you can see the days you missed and I can say from experience that there’s something incredibly frustrating to see a blank square.  Don’t beat yourself over it, but let the blank square remind you that you have a goal that can’t be reached by slacking off.  There’s even a subreddit dedicated to this method, if you want to feel inspired!

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3.  People Forget

These are my people. School, work, friends, t.v. shows (I’m looking at you, Hannibal), take over your life and you just weren’t serious enough about your resolution to give it another thought. If you can’t rely on yourself to remember the resolution, write it down and stick it on your wall, make a notification of it on your phone or do something where you know you’ll be reminded of your goal every day.

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4.  Overachievers with way too may resolutions

Everyone wants to do and master a million things.  But not everyone has the time for that.  Prioritize yourself to one goal that you can focus on.  One achieved goal is much better than five partially achieved or unachieved goals.

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Remember, your resolution doesn’t have to be something overly ambitious, or something to improve yourself.  An effective New Year’s resolution can be something as simple and enjoyable such as going to more movies.  Have a good 2016 and best of luck and hopefully by 2017, you’ve nailed your resolutions!

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