Why Do 80% of New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
If you woke up on January 1st, 2021 screaming “New year, new me!” You’re not alone. In fact, nearly 75% of the American population plans to learn something new or make a lifestyle change in 2021. If only we lived in a world where planning to make a change or thinking about it did the trick. We’re sad to report it, but studies have shown that about 80% of resolutions fail. So, why do most New Year’s resolutions fail?
Lack of motivation
First and foremost, many people make resolutions that are just not that important to them. Ever have a friend, dead set on making a change in the new year, ask you about your resolution? It’s not like you’ve been thinking about a lifestyle change, but you’re put on the spot to come up with something. That’s a resolution that really isn’t that important to you, and more than likely, you won’t follow through. Here a couple tips to select motivated resolutions:
- It should be something you are passionate about.
- Don’t choose something based on what someone else is telling you to change.
- It should be reasonable so that you can stay positive and motivated.
It’s too vague
Most of the time, the resolution is just a wish, not a goal. In order for the resolution to be successful, the goal needs to be clearly defined. For example, let’s look at the top category for New Year’s resolutions: health. Want to be healthier? Define it by pounds lost, vegetables eaten per meal or miles walked. This way, you can track your progress, stay motivated and remember that your desire is truly attainable.
Fear sets in
Sometimes, change can be terrifying and resistance immediately sets in. This comes through in several ways:
- The famous “I’ll start tomorrow” line.
- We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or anyone we expressed the desire to.
- Fear of failing can be traumatizing itself.
- Your stress levels increase.
One of our go-to resolution success tips is to deescalate the importance of your resolution and combat these fears. Think about it — the world “resolution” simply means a firm decision to do or not do something. Well, we make firm decisions all day long. There’s no need to to think of a New Year’s resolution any differently than what it is… a decision to do something.
No definitive plan
Like we said before, a New Year’s resolution is simply a firm decision. But without a plan and action, that’s all it will ever be: a decision. In fact, most failed New Year’s resolutions are a direct result of that. It’s easy to express your desire to lose weight but how will you do it? At the beginning of each year, take the time to sit down, consider your goals, and chart how you will achieve them. Think SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.