Happy New Year! Now here is why you won’t achieve your resolution…

1st January, the time of year when things feel samey after the merriments of the holiday season.

The New Year hangover kicks in, and I’m not talking about the one caused by drink, but the feeling of nothing happening, nothing changing…

The month is cold weather, dark nights and listening to work colleagues moaning about a voluntary sobriety via Dryanuary.

As we reach 2020, you are thinking new year, new you as you finally decide it’s time to make those changes – for real this time!

But let’s be honest you most likely won’t achieve it, because if you did you would be in the minority of those who actually do.

New Year resolutions have a bad reputation and for good reason, as a study (if to believed as an accurate example of the population) suggests just 8 percent of people actually carry it through to completion.

But they do have there place, being a great trigger to get a person into the habit of setting and reviewing regular goals (this was how I started).

But there is a reason most resolutions are not met, which I will explore in the post and suggest solutions to resolve.

No concrete plan

Most resolutions are simply wishes with no plan or vision applied.

If you want to quit smoking, what is going to be your approach to changing habits?

Tools such as SMART goals is a useful approach to look at your resolution and turn it into a well thought out, robust goal with a timescale for completing the action.

Not sustainable

A lot of resolutions apply short term thinking – the intention to lose weight stops when the goal is achieved, then the weight balloons on over the year, until the next year’s resolution comes to lose the weight you put back on.

Wouldn’t you rather sustain the resolution rather than being stuck in a constant loop?

To make your resolution into a sustainable habit start off small, don’t join a gym and batter a treadmill for six days a week and then stop at the end of January.  Go 2-3 times a week for short sessions with a plan you are enthusiastic about lasting beyond a month and then if need then increase (Note: this doesn’t have to even be in the gym, just something you enjo).

For  more inspiration on creating a sustainable habit, see my post: Building habits to last: the path to success.

Don’t believe in the resolution

I hate stuff like Dryanuary – getting people to have a temporary sobriety in my opinion doesn’t encourage a healthy relationship with alcohol.

It is also a great example of people following a resolution they don’t believe in, which from the endless grumpiness I’ve experience of people partaking I can only assume they are getting some sort of moral superiority from it.

Most people don’t believe in the resolutions they have set, they just do it to feel they should to escape the feeling of same old-same old routine or to impress others.

Simple solution is to set something you can enjoy, something YOU believe in.

Life is too short, do something you are into.

Hint: if you are having to read Good Housekeeping articles on New Year resolution ideas then it’s pretty safe to assume you don’t believe in the resolution.

No drive on the bigger picture

For your resolution to last you have to understand why this matters.

Okay you want to lose weight, you want to quit smoking, you want to be rich.


If you don’t know what that is then you will really struggle to be motivated to achieve the resolution.

People who really want something can achieve it by visualising the purpose for goal,

“I want to lose weight so I can play with my children”

“I want to stop smoking to reduce the risk of dying young and being an example for my children”

“I want to be rich because I grew up in poverty and don’t want that for my family.”

If you aren’t passionate about the resolution and deep down aren’t motivated by achieving it, then you won’t.

Why 1st January?

Finally why start a resolution on the 1st January?

If you knew in October you could do to lose some weight, why did you wait three months?

Start earlier to get a head start, build better habits and be in a routine before everyone starts.

Resolutions – they can be achieved!

If you have a resolution and want to stick to it make sure:

  • it is well planned
  • you can stick to it
  • you believe in it and can enjoy the process behind it
  • you can visualise the bigger picture of why you want to achieve it
  • (for future resolutions) start working on it before 1st January

I hope you enjoyed this post, good luck in achieving your aspirations.

If you want more self-improvement content why not join my mailing list?  And if you want more support on achieving your goals you can always DM on Twitter.

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