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Want to make your New Year’s resolution stick?

January 2021

What’s sabotaging your New Year’s resolutions?  

Every year, people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise, quit smoking, save money, and more. And yet, virtually every study tells us that around 80% of these resolutions fail by February. 

But don’t give up on your resolution (or resolutions) just yet. Keep reading to learn how you may be standing in the way of your own success.

5 reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail

  1. You had unrealistic expectations. It’s great to make resolutions that will challenge you and allow you to grow and learn new things. But taking on too much will exhaust and dishearten you – and make you more likely to give up. Some resolutions can’t be fulfilled overnight – for instance, can anyone really lose 30 pounds in 30 days? So, be prepared to invest time and stay motivated until you’ve reached your goals.
  2. Your resolutions weren’t well defined. A resolution like “I’ll do my job better” is too vague and won’t lead to a specific desired outcome. For a New Year’s resolution to be successful, it needs to be S.M.A.R.T. – That is, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. You’ll want to define what you want to achieve and have a step-by-step plan on how to get there.
  3. You didn’t have the right mindset. Wanting something and working towards getting it are two fundamentally different things. It can be difficult to focus on fulfilling a resolution when you’re not mentally prepared for the hard work, distractions, obstacles, and setbacks that might lie ahead. For instance, you can’t quit smoking without making an effort to eliminate temptations.
  4. Your time management skills are lacking. Managing your time effectively is not about crossing all the entries off your to-do list. It’s about knowing what your priorities are and getting the right things done first. Want to volunteer at the local food bank, even if you’re busy running a business and a household? You’ll find the time if it’s truly important to you.
  5. You are living distracted. Distractions cause you to miss many opportunities in life. Even the most minor ones slow you down, wasting your time and energy – and piling on more stress. Dealing with distractions makes you feel chronically busy and tired, and frustrated by your lack of progress – even if you’re trying your best. By eliminating unnecessary distractions from your everyday routines, you’ll be able to make time for things that matter most.

So, as you ponder that resolution you made recently, ask yourself this. Is your goal specific and attainable? Do you know exactly what you need to do to accomplish it? If so, you have a better chance of making that New Year’s resolution work. 

Sources: Psychology Today,, U.S. News & World Report

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