Why your resolutions fail

It's resolution season! If you are like 80% of people that made resolutions at the beginning of this year, you are well on your way.........to FAIL. Ouch!!

According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most completely lose their resolve by mid-February.

Having resolutions, or target goals, can be a great way to jump start your new year, refresh, refocus and strategize. Resolutions have gotten a bad wrap and it's not their fault! The truth is that resolutions aren't bad, you are missing a key piece to resolution success, RESOLVE.


Before I tell you how to do that, let's look at some definitions:

Resolution: 1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.

2. the quality of being determined or resolute.

Resolve: 1. settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter)

2. decide firmly on a course of action.

3. separate or cause to be separated into components

Having a resolution without the resolve is like trying to play a game of tennis without the racket. Not very successful and it may hurt a bit too. To have resolve means that you set yourself up for success and break your goals down into bite size pieces. You wouldn't try to eat a whole pie in one bite would you? Your goals need to be taken step by step and each step gives you confidence to move to the next step making even the biggest goals achievable.

Here are some reasons that your past resolutions have failed and how to do it different this year:

  1. You don't write them down. I know, you just have them in your head right? According to Inc.com you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. I personally like to keep a rolling list in my phone. Kind of like a checklist. Writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on exactly what you want but it also can help motivate you. Nothing feels better than crossing something off the list. Ideally the process will force you to ask yourself important questions and give you something to work towards.

  2. You should on yourself. Making a big list of resolutions/goals is not a negative thing, unless you are making them because you "should". Should is a nasty little word and we just love to should all over ourselves don't we? "Should" implies that you are only writing it down because of someone else's expectations or because you feel like you have to, but you don't really want to. If you don't really want something you won't do what it takes to get it. Make goals that are truly meaningful to you.

  3. You're not specific enough. This is the thing that makes resolutions or goals overwhelming and seem unachievable. Being specific will help you break your resolutions down into bite size pieces. The number one goal made in the US is "exercise more". More is not quantifiable and will leave you staring at your BFHG (big fat hairy goal) while doing absolutely nothing. Instead of "exercise more" try: join a gym and work out for an hour 3x a week. That makes your goal smaller, specific and attainable.

  4. There is no deadline. Giving yourself a realistic deadline to achieve each goal will make your success rate even higher. For example the goal above is broken down into bite size pieces but when are you going to start chewing? Apply a deadline: Join a gym on January 15th and workout for an hour 3x a week right after the kids go to bed. See the difference? I actually lost 80 lbs after my 2nd son was born with this exact goal! It works!

There are lots of tips and tricks to making 2021 the year that you achieve your resolutions and we only touched on a few but in addition to these I challenge you to decide in advance that there is no such thing as failure. Most people lose their resolve because they feel like they failed. Look at resolutions/goals as only having 2 choices, learn or succeed. Even if you don't reach your goal the way you thought you would you may just learn something along the way that is way more valuable.

Let's give 2021 the ole R&R (resolution & resolve)!!



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