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If you’re like most other people in the U.S., the New Year equals the quintessential “new you”. When the clock strikes midnight, you will be transformed into this goal-oriented individual and the gym will be the norm in your everyday routine. You’ll be waking up at 5am, before the sunrise, and eating all organic vegetables.
While all of these things sound great on paper, does it really make sense to play into the gimmick of setting a New Year’s resolution? Actually, maybe not.
Not surprisingly, the Health Journal reports that only 25% of people end up keeping their resolutions. That means that a whopping 75% of people drop their New Year’s resolutions.
So, what’s the point of making one? The idea of setting a goal sounds great, so why do New Year’s resolutions fail more often than they’re successful?
What’s Wrong With Setting a New Year’s Resolution
There is a whole laundry list of reasons New Year’s resolutions fail. Sometimes, you hold off on bettering yourself because this idea of being a “better you” on a specific date sounds more appealing. Or maybe you can’t seem to stay motivated for a whole 365 days. Whatever it is, read on to see why most New Year’s resolutions aren’t successful.
1. You Made a Resolution Just For The Sake of Making One
I am guilty of doing this. I’ve fallen into the “new year, new me!” mindset trap. Everyone else is repeating their goals over and over, so will I! Turns out, making a New Year’s resolution just for the sake of making one is an ineffective strategy.
A New Year’s resolution is more than just saying you are going to create a second stream of income in order to pay off debt. It’s more than just saying words over and over again, hoping they come true.
2. You’re Looking For a Quick Fix
We’ve all been there – our resolution is to drop some extra weight or start a fad diet. We want to wake up on January 1st, look in the mirror, and viola! a drastic change has occurred.
The reality is: change takes time. You need to dedicate more time and effort into a goal. Looking at a goal in a long term aspect decreases the chances of being successful.
It’s no secret that everyone wants the quickest result possible. The issue is that we all seem to miss the middle parts, where the work comes in. On the last day of December, we look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are no longer going to have saddle bags or a double chin… and we forget that there are hours and hours of work involved in achieving these goals.
3. A Year is a Long Time
Setting a resolution that is supposed to pan out over an entire year is an overwhelming undertaking. Sure, you think that a whole year to achieve your goal is an easy task because you have so much time to get it done, right?
In fact, short term goals are more effective than long term goals. Long term goals tend to be more vague, while short term goals are generally more clear in regards to intention.
If you look at a whole, entire year to achieve XYZ goal, we give ourselves false hope. Most goals – whether they are to lose weight, eat healthier, or business-related – have many in-between steps. Not just a beginning and an end.
What To Do Instead
Don’t take this the wrong way – I love goals. I love setting objectives and aiming for the stars. The problem is putting off our goals until that fateful day when everything is supposed to change and we expect the world to shift (i.e. January 1st).
Every day that the sun rises is a new chance to do everything that you’ve ever wanted to. The time to start is now – not tomorrow, not next month, not on the first day of January. Today. Right now. This second.
1. Focus on Short Term Goals
Make a list of every goal you have. From there, break them into smaller, more manageable goals. With short term goals, you see the results sooner than with long term goals. Tangible results equals more motivation!
Say you are trying to transition into a more minimalistic lifestyle. Don’t just list “being a minimalist” as a resolution for the New Year. Break it down into “decluttering the kids toys” and “selling extra clothing items“. These smaller, short-term goals make hitting the target on the larger goal much easier.
2. Love Yourself Just The Way You Are
Are you New Year’s resolutions geared toward changing your physical self?
Every change starts with loving yourself first. Without any amount of self love, every goal and every change will be superficial. You have to want to better yourself for you, not only for the physical improvement.
It is absolutely a fact that looking better comes with feeling better. There’s no doubt about that. But without a sense of self love, you’ll lack motivation. Find out your reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s because you love yourself and want to be a better you.
3. Make a Lifestyle Change
Every goal starts with a lifestyle change. A mindset shift. Something that alters the way you’ve been doing things.
Are you trying to drop a few extra pounds and live a more active lifestyle? Try cooking from scratch more often and taking walks in the evenings. You don’t have to commit to an hour gym session every day – a short walk gets your body moving and gets you some fresh air.
A healthier mindset is more apt to be productive, to get things done, and be overall more positive. Changing up your lifestyle can be a slow process – it’s no doubt easier said than done – but it can have a huge impact on you for years to come.
The reason that New Year’s resolutions fail so frequently is because we tend to look at the big picture, not the smaller pictures that make up that bigger picture. We expect a quick fix; to make our dreams a reality with a flip of a switch.
Achieving a goal is more than just setting a New Year’s resolution and hoping it comes true. With determination and patience, any dream or goal you have can become a reality!