Ten reasons New Year resolutions often fail

By Mwangi Alberto
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
New Year resolutions.
In summary

A new year symbolises a new chapter opening in the book called life. But while so many people aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only a small percentage of them ever experience the taste of victory. An enormous number of people, ambitious to tilt their lives, will probably give up on their resolutions before they can even say “confetti.” Mwangi Alberto compiles some of the major hindrances from achieving your 2021 goals.

1. Treating marathon like sprint

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the ‘I want it all and I want it now’ mentality.

Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight?

Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. 

2. Putting cart before horse

Supplementing a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results.

If it’s not important, don’t worry about it. Know how to prioritise things, and that way, you will have more positive impact on whatever it is that you want to achieve.

3. Lack of self-belief

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself.

Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being.

The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again, but better this time.

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life.

If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it. So, it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

I am sure you have heard about the saying ‘come easy go easy. Most of the things that come easily usually follow the same route on their way out.

Don’t seek those quick-easy solutions if what you want to achieve is for the long haul. 

6. You don’t enjoy the process

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore?

The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

So, trust yourself and make it fun to do what it is that will bring joy and satisfaction in your life.

7. Trying too hard

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure if getting yourself to shape is one of your new calendar resolutions.

The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it.

As long as you’re making positive choices most of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You never track your progress

Keeping a written record of your progress will help you sustain an ‘I can do this’ attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen.

For every engagement, record what is it that you do, how you do it, and the number of repetitions performed. Your goal?

Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

9. You have no social support

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone.

Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your accountability buddy.

If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions.

Join a support group of like-minded folks; strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail is because you know what you want, but not why you want it.

Yes, you want to get fit, lose weight, be healthy, stop a bad habit, or learn a new skill, but why is your goal important to you?

Whether you’re getting involved in whatever in order to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, or get rid of your nagging boss, forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

The more specific you can make your goal, the more vivid it will be in your imagination, the more encouraged you’ll be, and the more likely it is you will succeed.

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