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7 Reasons Why New Year Resolutions Fail

Reasons Why New Resolutions Fail

New year’s day is a Monday of years.

We delay exercising, healthy eating, and all such good and important things till the next Monday. And, when the new year approaches, our procrastinating habits are at their best. We stall all these things till new year’s day.

Nothing is wrong with starting any good thing from new year’s day.

But why not now?

If a good idea comes to mind, why not try it now? Why not start it today?

Isn’t every day as important?

Procrastination is one of the biggest reasons why new year resolutions fail. We don’t choose new year’s day to start a good thing. But we choose it as a date to further delay a good thing.

The other big reasons why new year resolutions fail, are here:

  • Our Goals Are Far from Being Realistic

The biggest reason why people fail to achieve their goals is that they set vague and overwhelming goals.

Last year, my new year resolution was to start waking up early. Those days, I used to wake up at around 7:50. This used to leave me no time for having proper breakfast let alone exercising.

I chose new year’s day to dump this everyday annoying habit. I thought of waking up at 6:30 every day. Though I failed just the second day. 

Because it was just too vague a goal. It was intimidating and far from being practical.

Eventually, I dumped this habit. Not anywhere around new years, though.

I planned to wake up 10 minutes earlier throughout a week. Then, 5 minutes earlier the other week. The goal was not intimidating. And, gradually, I got over this off-putting habit.

  • We Barely Have A Plan

There was another problem with my new year’s resolution. I didn’t plan anything. I had no short-term plans. No long-term plans.

I had no plans for even a week.

I will wake up 10 minutes earlier for the next seven days. And then 5 minutes earlier for next seven days. And so on, until I can wake up half an hour earlier than my usual time. Then I will stick to that for around a month.

This much of planning would have helped.

Richard Wiseman, psychologist and author of 59 Seconds: Think a little, Change a Lot, says that according to studies when people want to get a new job, the ones who succeed the most break the process up into steps: “like writing their CV in one week and then applying for one new job every two weeks over six months.”

  • We Are Not Ready for The Changes

Another reason why resolutions fail is that we are never ready for the side effects.

We don’t anticipate and plan for the changes that are dumping a bad habit or embracing a right one can lead to.

I knew that I had to wake up early. But the things that never crossed my mind:

  • To wake up early, I will have to start sleeping early. Otherwise, I will feel drowsy all day long.
  • If I will be drowsy at work, my performance would deteriorate, and it will hurt my motivation to wake up early.

I had no plans to deal with these things. And that lead me to a failed new year’s resolution.

  • We Give Up Easily

We plan vague and unrealistic goals.

What is worse?

We don’t analyze the causes of failure, and we don’t try again.

Here is a beautiful quote by Denis Waitley-

‘Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is the delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.’

I agree: ‘Failure is a temporary detour, not a dead-end.’

Do not let a small failure demotivate you. Instead, figure out what went wrong and tried again and again and again……….until you succeed.

  • The Vision is Blurred

What’s the point of a new year resolution that cannot be sustained till the next new year’s eve? And what’s the point if you have to start all over again the next new year.

If you want to change anything and retain that change for a long time, you need two things: A long-term vision and many short-term plans.

Visualize the long-term results but make short-term plans. If you are saying that you want to wake up early, figure out the results that you want to realise at the end of that year.

If you do, you will enjoy the entire process so much more.

You will be excited to track your progress with every short-term goal achieved. You won’t give up and would try again. You will rejoice the results at the end of that year. And within this year, a good habit would be so embedded in your routine that even if you skip it for a week, for any possible reason, you will naturally come back to it.

  • We Look for Excuses (Subconsciously)

This happens with all of us.

We want to do something. We clearly know it’s important. But subconsciously we hunt for excuses.

Earlier, whenever I tried waking up early, I succumbed to the lamest issues like:

I slept 15 minutes late yesterday. Today is gonna be a hectic day at work; I should relax and gather some energy. Slight exhaustion from last day’s shopping.

What I eventually realized was that these things are going to be there every week, every month, and every year.

So, can I never wake up early?

These usual excuses are going to be with me till I am alive. There are gonna be parties or family reunions that would keep me from sleeping early. My work is never going to be less hectic. My shopping is never going to complete.

These things are a part of everyday life. They will keep changing. But I will never get rid of them. Then what?

I changed the way I think.

I changed, ‘I am a bit exhausted today, I should sleep more’ to ‘I am going to wake up, and if I feel tired, I will take a siesta or sleep a little early tonight.’

  • Half Baked Resolutions

A lot of us have no clear idea on why we are making a particular resolution.

This leads to a lack of motivation.

If someone wants to quit smoking, they should know that it is for their good health, for their happy lungs, and for a long life. They should also know the short-term benefits like increased stamina and a glowing skin.

Now that we have discussed all that we do wrong, let’s discuss what is right. The good thing is that you want to change. The good thing is that you want to get better. That’s why you are here, right?

So, let’s watch this video by Dr. Mike Evans that tells us a lot about new year’s resolutions:

To sum it up, new year’s resolutions would do a lot better if they are well-thought of. If they are based on a clear vision, and we approach them with full-fledged preparations.

Here is a short analysis test to help you introspect and form ways to successful new year’s resolutions.

So, tell us what’s your new year’s resolution, what is your vision behind it and what are your ways of approaching it in the comment section.

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