Why Resolutions Fail
December 30, 2014
Filed In: Philosophy
We’re very rapidly approaching 2015 and with it, the onslaught of New Year’s Resolutions. Year after year, people make promises to themselves that invariably collapse by January 15th. Why don’t resolutions work?
I love the New Year and the freshness that comes with it. A new year provides a fresh canvas and the perfect framework for setting long term goals. Each year, near the end of November, I evaluate how the past year went and make concrete decisions about what things I want to focus on for the next year. Many goals roll over, since they fell too low on the priority scale, and others I get to celebrate big wins from.
The main reason why resolutions fail is because they’re not planned for.
We say we’ll start exercising again, but that’s all that we say. There’s no plan. We say we’ll save money, but we don’t draw up a budget. We invest in all sorts of tools, but ignore the fact that complexity creates barriers.
If you’re looking for a successful 2015, here’s what you need. First, you need the “why” of what you’re doing. So many times, we have the “what.” Lose weight. Save money But we don’t have the why. The why is the deeply rooted convictions that are driving these goals. They’re the things that will get us out of bed when it’s cold or will get us to pass on the cookies at the grocery store.
Next, you need to think manageable. "Lose weight" isn’t manageable, nor is "lose 40lbs." You don’t have to set your ultimate goal right now, but you can set incremental goals. So you could start the year with, “Lose 10% of body weight.” Then, once you hit that target, set your next one.
Finally, you need to figure this out before December 31st. New Year’s Eve is a terrible time to start figuring out what you want to do. You want to wake up on January 1st and hit the ground running! Plus, if you’re making lifestyle changes, getting a head start could be just the boost that you need to really make things stick in 2015.
Life will happen to you if you don’t happen to it. Take some time to jot down your goals for 2015 and get ready to hit it hard on January 1st.