Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail
It’s that time of the year when you’re feeling like this past year was a complete bust. You want change. So, like everyone else, you decide to come up with a list of Resolutions for this New Year. You are full of enthusiasm and excitement because you tell yourself that this year it’s going to be different.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), some 40-50% of people partake in this yearly tradition, but depending on which statistic you look at, only 10-15% of these people will eventually succeed in reaching their goals. And that’s being generous.
So where do we come up short? The answer is simple. We don’t have a plan and therefore we focus on the wrong things.
In actuality, making resolutions is not a bad thing. The problem usually comes from the lack of motivation and accountability that inevitably follows this period of excitement. You have to transform your enthusiasm into concrete and sustainable plan.
To increase your odds of success, you will need some accountability. Yes really. Those without it reduce their chance of success by half.
It’s the same principle with Rehab programs. Why do you think they suggest the addict go to daily meetings? It’s not so much that they will be learning new tools and skills (although that is part of it), but most of the benefit from those meetings comes from the support and accountability that they get from their peers.
So where do we get accountability? There are many places. Enlist friends and family. Tell as many people as you can. (Note: Tell people that will be supportive and hold you to realistic expectations.) Have a plan on how to accomplish your goal. List the steps. If you’re not sure where to start, think about hiring a Life Coach or a professional mentor. Join a support group. You can even do it online. Just make sure there is a measure of accountability.
If you have a goal in mind, start right away. Don’t wait until the end of the year. Just start! Why wait until the end of the year? It’s very seldom that conditions will be perfect. So go ahead and make that jump!
The new year does not hold the answers, but you do. The real question is, are you ready to embrace change? Think about it. You’ve been stuck in a dead end job, or you’ve wanted to quit smoking. Or maybe you want to lose weight or quit drinking. What is that worth? If your resolution has been on your mind for awhile, don’t you owe it to yourself act on it?
Don’t get caught up in the trap. Put the cigarette down, get rid of the junk food in your house or start putting resumes in. Action brings results. Start now. Not tomorrow. Not tonight. But now! You’ve thought about it and talked about it. The only thing that is stopping you is you.
If you take nothing else away from this article but this one thing, I hope that it’s that there is never a perfect time except right now to start acting on your goals.