Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Inevitably Fail (and How to Succeed)

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There’s a reason why people love celebrating on New Year’s Eve (no, not just for the champagne and concerts). The idea of shedding the old and ringing in the new is an enticing one.

Regardless of the kind of year you had, it’s refreshing to think about wiping the slate clean and starting anew. When everyone around the world is doing this, it’s even more encouraging.

New Year's resolutions
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As a result there is a palpable kind of enthusiasm and excitement during the first few days of the new year as everyone is reveling in the spirit of renewal. So what happens to that motivation?

Why do people fail to keep their resolutions going?

The issue is often that these resolutions are made under the pretense of the mantra “new year, new me.” This kind of mindset dooms people from the start.

Here’s why. If you decide you are going to lose weight and be healthier because it is a new year, then you are only asking to fail. Once the novelty of the new year has faded away, so has the motivation behind making your resolution in the first place.

You need to be doing it because it is something you want to do, not because it’s something you feel you need to do in order to “fit in” with the crowd of people announcing their resolutions to better themselves with the start of the new year. If you’re making a resolution it needs to be for you, even if New Year’s happens to be the time you start.

This also means these resolutions can occur at any point during the year. And they should!

If you want to make a New Year’s resolution, you’re more than welcome to, but maybe have a tentative start date. For example, this year I will make a plan to start being healthier.

This resolution doesn’t have to start immediately, but rather when you’re ready to start making the change. Smokers, as an example, are told to quit when they feel they are ready, not because other people are telling them to.

Make resolutions anytime
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They need to be ready, and they need to want to quit. The same can be said for these resolutions. You need to want to make the change, and you need to not feel pressured by the new year, new me mantra.

Make it a habit to revisit your resolutions throughout the year, making adjustments and re-committing to your goals as you go.

Here’s a secret: you can actually wipe the slate clean and start over again at ANY POINT during the year, not just on New Year’s Eve. Don’t be afraid to make new goals in March, August, or October. It’s exactly the same thing.

With that said, Happy New Year and good luck with your goals!