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Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work


Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

Jena Chopson

Google “New Year’s Resolutions” and you’ll come up with more hits than you bargained for. 

By the way, how’s yours going so far? Does it look something like….blah blah blah and Girl Scout Cookies? 

Don’t worry, if that’s the case you’re not alone. Statistics show that nearly HALF of resolutions fail within the first month.

This is why I’m completely convinced that New Year’s resolutions don’t work. And here’s why: 

1.) You likely made a resolution or a goal on what you SHOULD do, rather than what you WANT to do. 

Statistics also show that the top 5 resolutions are things like losing weight/eating healthier, making better financial decisions, smoking cessation, and doing more exciting things like traveling, etc. 

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these goals, the problem might be that they’re not what YOU want. Most of these goals are more about what other people expect from you than what you truly want at the time. 

Which leads to the second reason most resolutions don’t work….

2.) You aren’t that motivated or committed to them. 

If you say you want to lose 30 lbs this year merely because that’s what everyone else in the office is doing, odds are that plan is going to fail about the same time those Girl Scouts come running up to you at the grocery store. 

You have to set goals based on what is most centrally important to YOU. Only then will you be able to persevere and weather the storm when Girl Scout cookies come around. 

It also has to be the right time for you. Which leads to #3…

3.) It has to be the right time for you. 

The new year does bring promise of a fresh start. A new beginning. So it makes sense that you might want to start working on that “new you” at the same time. 

The problem with that is you may simply just not be ready. Just because the year changes on the calendar doesn’t mean that the will to change occurs within you. 

Couple that with the fact that you’re coming off a busy holiday season and just trying to get back into the harsh realities of the “real world,” and it can often end up being the WORST time to start something new. 

4.) Unrealistic expectations. 

Another common issue we see is that people make goals that are TOO large TOO quick. We sit around on New Year's Eve, spending little time creating our resolutions and we make them so astronomically huge that we’re essentially setting ourselves up for failure. 

Most people end up quitting on their goal because it is too big, requiring too much effort & action all at once. And when we don’t see the results we were hoping for, we immediately revert back to old behaviors. 


So what CAN you do to make sure you become a goal setting jedi master? Here’s a few helpful tips: 

1.) Start with a focus on ONE goal, rather than several huge goals. I want to lose 10 pounds in 90 days. Make it measurable, realistic, time-based….and small.  

2.) Take small steps and celebrate each milestone instead of waiting until you’ve “hit it” to celebrate. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Think one day at a time…”What can I do TODAY to bring myself one step closer to my goal?”

3.) ACCOUNTABILITY. You need to, at the very least, have one person in your life who knows about your goals and who will help hold you accountable. 

4.) You’re creating new behaviors and thought patterns. Be mindful of this. Be aware of your daily thought patterns and resist the urge to fall back into old behaviors. 

5.) Give yourself some grace. The path to success is never a straight, upward arrow. It’s usually an image similar to a tumbleweed. You’ll probably fail more than once. When you do, get up, dust yourself off, and get right back to work. You are stronger than you think you are and you can absolutely crush this goal. 

Cheers to goal crushing,


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