New Year’s Resolutions – Why We Don’t Stick To Them

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and most importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Resolutions are about changes.

Change is difficult, but you have the ability to make and keep meaningful changes in your life regardless of your age and ability.  We are excited for a few weeks, or even a few months and somehow we begin to lose our passion for it.  We begin to lose sight of why we set the resolutions in the first place.  What we should do is set goals instead.  Studies have shown that people who set goals are more likely to achieve them.

So How Is Goal Setting Different From Setting Resolutions?

There is a big difference in goals and resolutions.  Resolutions tend to be things such as

lose weight, be more disciplined, tidy the house and spend more time exercising.

The Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Spend More Time With Family And Friends
  2. Fitness – Lose Weight
  3. Taming the bulge
  4. Quit Smoking
  5. Quit Drinking
  6. Getting Out Of Debt
  7. Enjoy Life More
  8. Learn Something New
  9. Help Others
  10. Be More Disciplines-Organised

Studies by the  University of Bristol have shown  that 26% of those who set New Year resolutions fail,despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.

Source Wikipedia

Resolutions do not excite anyone…just look at the top ten resolutions.  They do not ignite a fire within you that makes you want to do them.  That is the problem.  They are boring, mundane and seem like hard work.  Whereas goals are exciting.  They are designed to make you grow and because we are goal seeking organism you will draw strength from inside when the going gets tough. Goals are targeted and you tend to be more emotionally involved with them.  They are what highly effective people do.

“Goals are dreams with a deadline” ~ Diane Scharf-Hunt

Strategies For Highly Effective New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. Convert them into Goals –  goals are about personal growth and challenging yourself
  2. Be Specific- The more specific you are the more you will be able to succeed.  Set action steps which will allow you to measure and track your progress.
  3. Don’t Think It…Ink It! – It is important to write down your goals.  Studies have shown that people who write their goals down increase their chance of achieving their them.  Write your goal in present tense, as if you are already achieved it.  This will aid you in getting emotionally involved with your goal.
  4. Persistence – Respond positively to setbacks and remember, “There is no substitute for persistence.  It cannot be supplanted by any other quality.  Remember this in the beginning when the going may seem difficult and slow” Napoleon Hill
  5. Design Your Environmentt-Your environment is more important than heredity.   Design an environment that makes it easy for you to achieve your goal.  Make sure that you have people around you that are supportive of what you are trying to achieve.
  6. Forgive Your Failure – Don’t let the mistakes and disappointments of the past control any area of your future.  Ok, so you ate the cake or you didn’t get to the gym today.  Have a salad for dinner instead of that steak, or do 5 minutes of stretches to make up for not making it to the gym.  Don’t give yourself a hard time.  Move on!

There is a big difference between resolutions and goals (desires).  choose ones which will make you feel alive inside, ones that will have a positive change in your life.  Take a closer look at all the things you were successful in over the past year and you can be sure that those were the things that you were emotionally involved with.  They were the things which made you feel alive.

Start living and make the steps to an amazing 2013!