Why Making New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work and What to Do Instead
Whenever it’s a New Year, many of us try to come up with New Year’s resolution ideas. We ask ourselves, “What should be my New Year’s resolution?” We try to figure out what would be a good New Year’s resolution or maybe even the best New Year’s resolution for us, hoping it will make next year turn out great.
What do most people usually choose as their New Year’s resolutions? They decide to lose weight, make strides in their career, pay off their debt, get organized or be more healthy. Any of these are great promises to make to ourselves. Achieving them greatly improves our quality of life. Yet, somehow, many are unable to do so.
A study conducted for two years found that nearly a quarter of people quit after just one week, and only 19% are able to keep going.
Does that mean we can’t ever hope to better ourselves?
Of course not!
We can improve, but not through the usual way we make New Year’s resolutions.
To discover how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, we explain what a New Year’s resolution is, why we make New Year’s resolutions, why we fail to keep them and what we can do to actually make a change in our lives below.
What’s a New Year’s resolution?
A New Year’s resolution is a holiday tradition where we make a promise to ourselves around December or early January that can have a positive effect on our lives.
It’s usually a choice to either start doing something good or stop doing something bad.
An example of something good for us that could be our New Year’s resolution would be to exercise more. The more we work out, the healthier we’ll be.
Something bad we ought to promise ourselves to stop doing as our New Year’s resolution could be smoking. Once we quit, we’ll no longer suffer the side effects, making us feel a whole lot better.
Why do we make New Year’s resolutions?
For most of us, New Year’s Eve is more than just a holiday. We see it as a fresh start. When we throw out our old calendars or planners and replace them with new ones, we see the next 365 days laid before us, full of possibility, giving us a chance to make a change.
This sense of having a clean slate, coupled with the high from last year’s celebrations, encourages us to improve ourselves or make improvements in our lives.
A year might not seem like enough time for some to make good on such promises, but the positive vibes usually all around us this time of year boost our chances of seeing them through and reaping the rewards.
Why do we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions?
There are various reasons many aren’t able to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Those include how healthy they are, their environment, their financial status and the company they keep. But the most common ones usually come from within.
5 Common Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work Out
Not Having a Plan
It was Benjamin Franklin himself, one of the Founding Fathers of the US, who said, “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail.”
How can you keep your New Year’s resolutions if you don’t know how?
Instead of just winging it, you need to find out the steps you need to take.
There’s nothing wrong with believing in yourself. You need to in order to achieve something. It will give you that push you’ll need to keep going when the going gets rough.
Being confident becomes a problem when you become too confident.
Doing something new is never easy, no matter how easy it seems. You’ll run into obstacles you would’ve never expected. If things turn out harder than you thought, you might lose your drive to stick to your plan and fail to make your New Year’s resolutions a reality.
Accept that you have weaknesses that could cause you to struggle. The more realistic your expectations are, the more emotionally prepared you’ll be when challenges arise.
Striving to become better is great and all, but having no means to monitor your progress is a recipe for disaster.
That’s why fitness apps work. Showing you that you’re making progress keeps you motivated. If it shows you’re slipping, that very same motivation will compel you to get right back on track.
Monitor your progress towards making good on your New Year’s resolutions or ask someone to help you to keep your eyes on the prize.
Unwilling to Make Sacrifices
No great thing was ever achieved without giving something up.
Want to get fit? You need to start exercising or exercise more, eat healthy or healthier and consider going to the gym.
These aren’t things most people are willing to do, so you need to commit in order to do them.
It’s the same for any New Year’s resolution. Find out whether you need to get rid of certain things in your life in order to achieve yours. If there are any, ready yourself to make the needed sacrifices and let go.
Not Really Ready to Change
It’s easy to make promises if you aren’t serious about keeping them. They’re just empty words with no meaning. But how are you supposed to enjoy the benefits?
So you can keep your New Year’s resolutions and make your life better, you need to be ready to change your life accordingly. It won’t be easy, but know it will be worth it.
What to Do Instead of Just Making New Year’s Resolutions
To experience meaningful change in your life next year, you need to set goals. Unlike New Year’s resolutions, goals consist of concrete steps you need to take in order to achieve them. Knowing exactly what you need to do gives you the best possible chance at success.
Steps to Set a Goal
- Decide on what you want to do.
- Commit to it.
- Plan on how to achieve it.
- Take action.
- Monitor your progress.
- Keep at it even if it gets hard.
- Celebrate when you succeed.
Even though they’ve been done for as long as anyone can remember, making New Year’s resolutions doesn’t always work for everyone. But we can still work towards something better for ourselves when the holidays come around. As long as we go about it the right way, there’s no telling what we can achieve.
- “WHY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FAIL,” by “Team Tony” for tonyrobbins.com
- “5 reasons why most New Year’s resolutions don’t stick, according to a psychotherapist” by Amy Morin for Business Insider
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