The 3 Most Common Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Overcome Them
The New Year is finally here! It’s about time we can finally close the book on 2020 and have a fresh start in 2021. Even though this year isn’t off to the best of starts, we still have the opportunity this year to really make a healthy change in our lives and better ourselves. That’s what makes the start of a new year so special, right?
Every year, millions of Americans and people around the world commit themselves to a New Year’s resolution. It can be anything from exercising more, eating healthier, to even putting some time aside to relax—anything that can help us improve ourselves!
Resolutions are great. So, why do the overwhelming majority of people give up on their resolution within only a few months? Why is it so hard for us to focus on and commit ourselves to a goal?
Well, in this blog post we’ll address the 3 most common reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail and how we can help ourselves focus on our goal. Read ahead to find out!
Why Should We Make A New Year’s Resolution?
Why do people set a New Year’s resolution in the first place? When did this tradition start?
Believe it or not, the tradition of New Year’s resolutions is not a recent one—not by a long shot. It is believed to have started with the ancient Babylonians about 4,000 years ago. They were also the first civilization we know of that held celebrations in honor of the start of a new year. During the start of a new year, the Babylonians would make promises to their gods and goddesses to pay back their debts and return items that they have borrowed from others.
Resolutions nowadays are a little bit different. They are typically about improving one’s well-being, enhancing one’s health, or focusing on one’s happiness. The New Year is the perfect time to do that because it is basically like a new, fresh start (at least, it’s nice to look at it that way). When the ball drops at midnight, we can leave all the bad energy of the past year behind and manifest a better life for ourselves.
Barriers That Stop Us from Succeeding
A survey that looked at New Year’s resolutions for 2021 estimated that over 141 million Americans believe they will succeed in achieving their resolution this year. That’s a lot of people! But in reality, the majority of them will give up by February. Why?
There actually may be a few realistic reasons or events that may slow down with your resolution. These barriers can prevent you from achieving your goal. However, the thing about barriers is that you can always overcome them!
For example, some people may get a new job or move to a new place. When this happens it’s smart to focus on establishing yourself in your new life. But that doesn’t mean you have to slow down with your resolution.
Another example of a barrier that may stop you in your track to success may be if you get sick—something that is definitely scary in 2021! With the COVID pandemic still occurring across the world, staying healthy should be our number one goal. And if we do get sick (for any reason), we should focus solely on recovering and returning to our healthy state. It’s after we recover that we can take a step back and get on track to achieving our resolution.
The 3 Most Common Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail
For simplicity’s sake, we’ve narrowed down 3 main reasons why people fail to reach their New Year’s resolution. There certainly may be other reasons that prevent you from reaching your goals, but these are the biggest reasons why we have trouble sustaining our resolutions. So, let’s look at the first one.
1. Your resolution isn’t specific or measurable!
Choosing a vague New Year’s resolution is not a good strategy to take when deciding on a way to better yourself. For one thing, goals are best met when they are well-defined. For example, let’s say your resolution is to read more. If you just say your resolution is to read more, that is too vague! How much more do you want to read? What do you want to read more of? By when do you want to read more?
These are the questions you should ask yourself when deciding on your resolution. Also, when your resolution is measurable, you can time out “checkpoints” that keep you on track. When you set big goals for yourself, they can seem daunting and unachievable. A better strategy is to set smaller goals that are planned out. Going back to our example of reading more, you might say “I want to read 1 more book each month for the first half of the year, and then 2 more books a month for the second half of the year.”
When we set measurable and timed-out smaller goals, we have a better chance of actually achieving our goals. This is because we can constantly track our progress and remind ourselves of our goal, preventing us from forgetting about our resolution!
2. Your resolution is unreasonable or unrealistic!
This is one of the biggest reasons why people fail at their resolutions every year; they set goals that are impossible to meet! And when you set goals that are too big or unlikely to achieve, you will get deterred on your path to success. It’s also a very bad idea to set a goal that you won’t have complete control of.
For example, your resolution might be to get a promotion at work. Now, this is a great goal to have. But as a resolution, you should focus on things you can completely control. You can work as hard as you can, put in work on the weekends, and never take a break. But you still might not get that promotion. Maybe it’s because your boss isn’t in the mood to give a promotion or personally knows someone else and gives the promotion to them. These things are out of your control and they can make you feel really bad when you don’t achieve them.
Instead focus on a goal that you and you alone can achieve. When you do this, you’ll have a far easier time succeeding and feel better about yourself when you do!
3. You’re being too critical and hard on yourself!
No one said achieving your New Year’s resolution is an easy task. It requires focus, dedication, and determination to succeed. In fact, New Year’s resolutions should be something that challenges you to a certain degree.
But you can’t let the challenge of your resolution overshadow your desire to succeed. When you feel you’re not doing your best, don’t get so down on yourself. Doing so will only make you want to give up even more. Instead, take a step back and observe what’s working and what’s not working. Once you’ve deciphered what’s working, keep it going. And when you realize what is not working, try your best to improve at it.
Being too critical of yourself is the easiest way to give up on your goals. It’s also a bad habit to have, so leave that in 2020!
Ways to Help Yourself Achieve Your Resolution
Now that we’ve gone over the 3 most common reasons New Year’s resolutions fail, we can focus on the ways you can help yourself sustain your progress and achieve your resolution!
One of the best ways to achieve your resolution is to set the right resolution. Make a list of a few possible resolutions and a set of criteria that will allow you to pick the right one. These criteria can be anything, as long as it helps you narrow down your resolution. For example, ask yourself “is this resolution-specific enough?”, “is it actually attainable?”, or “is this something that I really want?” These are all great questions to ask yourself before settling on a resolution for a whole year!
It’s also important to set only one goal; don’t put too much on your plate. Choosing two or more resolutions will make it hard to focus and concentrate on succeeding.
And while we’re on the topic of focus and concentration; these are two skills that are extremely important to have while on your resolution journey. There are dozens of ways to improve your focus, but one of the best ways is to utilize the wellness benefits from our mats at HealthyLine! Some of our best mats designed for improved mental function is our Rainbow and Chakra series. These mats are filled with seven different gemstones that align each of your seven inner chakra points. Your chakras influence almost all aspects of your life, so when they are aligned, you’ll feel more mentally aware, refreshed, and focused.
2021 Is Your Year!
Sure, 2020 was a pretty bad year filled with overall negativity. And even if 2021 isn’t a good year too, we can still improve and better ourselves. Because that’s what ringing in the New Year is all about; allowing yourself to have a fresh start.
One of the best ways to better ourselves is to set a New Year’s resolution. The key is to not let our resolution become a burden that brings us down. Don’t become a victim to the 3 most common reasons New Year’s resolutions fail. Be sure to pick something that is specific, measurable, and realistic. And don’t get so down on yourself if you feel you’re not making progress quick enough; it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
So, make 2021 the year you better yourself. You’re in control of your life, it’s up to you!