Why Your New Year Resolutions are not Working (and how to fix it)
January 1, 2017Personal Development
If you are reading this post, it means you made it into 2018. Congratulations and a Happy New Year to you!
There is also a good chance that like many others, you have taken time off to reflect on your 2017 and you have even written some new year resolutions for 2018.
Many people have grown sceptical about writing new year resolutions because as many will say, “they don’t work”
Statistics reveal that only about 8% of people achieve their new year resolutions. 80% of people who set resolutions abandon by February, and this keeping happening every year, leading many to believe that new year resolutions just do not work!
There are many reasons why you are not able to achieve your new year resolutions. Here are 5 of them.
1. Your resolutions are too vague.
For instance, if you just say “I want to lose weight this year”, that’s too vague. You are bound to fail because that goal is too vague.
2. Your resolutions are not realistic.
Let’s say your only source of income is your day job which earns you GHC1500 per month. Then you set a goal and say, “I want to save GHC10,000 by the end of the year, without thinking of other sources of income, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
3. Your resolutions are not time bound.
If you tell yourself, “I will buy a car this year” without setting a due date, there is no sense of urgency to actually commit to buying a car. It’s like a class assignment without a deadline. There is no motivation to work on it.
4. You have too many goals.
It is easy to get caught up in setting goals and resolutions. Setting them is the easy part. Implementing them is the hard part. When you bind yourself with so many goals, you find yourself overwhelmed trying to achieve them. In the end, many of them get abandoned along the way.When you bind yourself with so many goals, you find yourself overwhelmed trying to achieve them. In the end, many of them get abandoned along the way. Click To Tweet
5. You are unwilling to change your attitude.
The difference between 31st December and 1st January is just one day. Unfortunately, people do not change overnight. When you carry the same attitude from the previous year which prevented you from achieving your goals into the next year, you shouldn’t expect to achieve your goals.
Here’s what you can do to achieve your new year resolutions this year.
1. Set SMART Goals
SMART is an acronym. It is a technique for setting goals which increases your chances of achieving them. It means:
S – Specific (Be specific in your goals): Instead of saying I will save money this year, say I will save Ghc10,000 by December 31st.
M – Measurable (Your goals must be measurable:) Instead of saying “I want to lose weight” say “I want to lose 15 kilos in 90 days”.
A – Action oriented. Use Action oriented words. Eg, instead of saying I will exercise, say I will walk for 20 minutes on my treadmill every day
R – Realistic. (Set realistic goals) – Eg. If you earn Ghc2000 a month. You cant say you will save Ghc1500 a month. It’s not realistic
T – Time-bound (Put a deadline or timeline to your goals) – eg. say I will save Ghc10,000 by June 4th. Set a time or deadline
2. See Your Goals Constantly:
Write your goals somewhere you can see them. Visualization is a very powerful exercise and being able to visualize your goals will help you achieve them. Many coaches recommend writing your goals on a Vision Board and placing it in a place where you can see your goals every day. Anytime you set your eyes on your goal, there is that extra burst of energy which keeps you going.
3. Set a few goals at a time.
Don’t burden yourself with too many goals at once. They will make you feel overwhelmed. Set a few goals at a time, strive to accomplish them, and add some more later in the year.
4. Break down your goals into smaller chunks
Your goals may look big. Very often, achieving them means that you have to break down your goals into smaller chunks. For instance, if you plan to lose 15kg within 90 days, you could decide to “Walk at least 30 minutes every day” or “Go to the gym 3 times a week”. These small exercises come together to help you achieve your overall goal.
5. Be prepared to change your thinking and your habits.
If you discovered an habit which prevented you from achieving your goal, you have to consciously work at changing that habit.
6. Be accountable to someone
Support systems and accountability is great. Find a friend you can trust. Someone who understands the goals you are trying to achieve, whom you can report to and who will give you all the support you need and encourage you when you are slacking.
7. Reward yourself when you achieve certain milestones
Rewards motivate you and give you the energy to press on. When you are quarter way, or midway between your goal, celebrate it.
Resolutions are hard to follow. However, theyare not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to keep us alive with a sense of purpose. If you follow the above steps, you will significantly increase your chances of achieving your new year resolutions.
My name is Isaac Sesi. I am an award-winning entrepreneur, front-end developer and embedded systems engineer. I started my first company, Invent Electronics in my second year in college and have co-founded 3 other companies since.
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Hi Sesi, Thanks for the article, very true and makes the most sense. More motivation in 2018.
True. Thanks for reading