Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work and What You Can Do About It

Yep, it’s that time again when people around the country sit around and make a list of their 2007 New Year’s Resolutions. It’s funny but most of the time doing this is a total waste of time that simply leaves you feeling like a loser. Why? Because most resolutions fail within a few weeks or before the month is out. Anyone who is a dyed in the wool gym-goer an tell you that the massive crowds the first week of January will thin to nothing by mid-February. If naming and writing down our goals are the first two steps to success, why then is it so hard for so many of us to succeed?

My experience personally and working with clients tells me there are 3 main reasons why resolutions don’t work.

1) Wrong Goal

Too many people choose the wrong goal. By wrong goal I mean that it is either:

  • a “should”: something you feel you “should” do but really don’t want to do.
  • someone else’s goal: like a “should” except someone else tells you or expects you to do something
  • a repeat goal: one of those goals that makes the list every year without fail and you just keep carrying it forward over and over, trying and failing with as much predictability as the sunrise

If your goal is any of these, you’re doomed from the start. There is not enough willpower to go around (and willpower isn’t sustainable anyway) or enough oomph in your soul to even give you a fighting chance at succeeding. Not to mention, you probably don’t really want to succeed anyway! Who can get jazzed up about a “should” or about an expectation someone else holds for us that we don’t want? It’s like passing the re-gifted velvet Elvis at the office holiday gift exchange — no one wants it but they will go through the motions anyway.

2) Right Goal but Lack of Support

The good news is that you have a real, bonafide goal that truly inspires you! But, you don’t have a plan and you don’t have support. Whether or not you already have a plan, you need support to achieve the truly big things. And, if you don’t yet have a plan the right support can help you formulate one that works.

Successful people know that you can’t go it alone. Define what sort of support you need — who can help you and then go out and get it. You might need a friend. Maybe a group of like minded individuals (support group, mastermind group, etc.) is the right fit for you. You may also need professional assistance in the form of a coach, trainer, career counselor, financial planner, etc. The most important step is to define who you need in your life to be successful and then go out there and get them. Make that commitment and investment in yourself and it’ll pay many dividends.

3) Doing and Thinking The Same Things and Expecting Different Results

We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Why then do we approach our goals with the same mindset and merry-go-round thinking that got us where we are today? The #1 thing you can do to be successful with goals in the new year is to change your mindset and your relationship with yourself.

For example, many people start the new year wanting to lose weight or get fit. Unless you shift your perspective and mindset from that of one who views herself as overweight and out of shape to someone who is on a healthy and fit path, you will face an unattainable uphill battle. As long as you see what you don’t want and self-talk yourself with nothing but negative and self-defeating statements, you’re doomed. No one ever reached the pinnacle of her success by beating herself up. Faced with a little 5 year old child who really wanted to do something, would you treat her that way? Or, would you encourage her all the way and keep sending her messages that she can do it? Well, that 5 year old is still inside of you and is listening with her ears wide open. I’m not talking about a pollyanna, affirmations in the sky approach. You’ll see right through the “BS” in a week. I’m talking about an honest, truthful shift in how you view yourself and what choices you make. If you’re not sure how to make such a transformational shift in your thinking, contact me for a free get-acquainted call to see how I might be able to help you.

So, toss away that list of resolutions and start over fresh this year. Pick a few things goals that really inspire you from different areas of your life (career, finances, primary relationship, friends & family, home & surroundings, spirituality, community) and make this the year you change your relationship to goals and start living your best life.

What are some of your visions for the new year? Share some in the comments if you like…

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Comments

  1. Great post Paula!

    I write a blog on Mastermind Groups and wrote a new post commenting on your entry called: Who To Include In Your Mastermind Group.

    Keep up the great work!

    Evan.

Trackbacks

  1. […] of these ruts created from past broken promises.  Two year’s ago I wrote a timeless piece “Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work and What You Can Do About It”.  I narrowed it down to three reasons: Wrong Goal, Right Goal but Lack of Support, and Doing and […]

  2. […] of these ruts created from past broken promises.  Two year’s ago I wrote a timeless piece “Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work and What You Can Do About It”.  I narrowed it down to three reasons: Wrong Goal, Right Goal but Lack of Support, and Doing and […]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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