Why We Fail to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's REsolutions

As we see the end of another year, many of us will have already set our New Year’s Resolutions for 2018. Perhaps we’re still contemplating the New Year’s Resolutions we set at the beginning of last year and wondering if this year we can do better!

So we’re a few days into 2018. How are you getting on so far? Are you still fired up and excited about your plans to make 2018 better than 2017? Are you among the 12% (yes, that’s right just 12%) who have stuck at it? Are you sticking to your new healthy eating regime, are you feeling trim and energised? Are you on a first-name basis with the team at your gym? Have you written your resignation letter so you can finally sack your boss and start out on your own new business venture?

Or are you, like the other 88%, already rueing the day you loudly announced your goal to the world that you were going to quit smoking and climb every one of Britain’s tallest mountains by the end of January? Will you make it into February with your good intentions intact?

New Year, New You!!?

There are an infinite number of things that we may decide to change in our lives, and we seem to pick January 1st as the natural starting point – “New Year, New You“, etc. How many of us actually dread New Year’s Day for this very reason, fearing the expectation that comes with the question “So, what’s your New Year’s Resolution?”!

According to Bidvine.com, the Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 were:

  1. Get into shape / lose weight
  2. Eat healthier
  3. Travel more
  4. Spend more time with family
  5. Learn a new skill

Others in their Top 13 list included finding a new job, spending less time on social media, getting married/divorced(!), and getting on the property ladder. Admittedly, some resolutions are easier to stick to than others, and some may actually be beyond our control. But for the rest, the reasons we fail to keep New Year’s resolutions are often quite simple, and therefore relatively easy to address.

So Why Do We Fail to Keep New Year’s Resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to, often because the goals we set are unrealistic or we’re trying to change too much all at once. We expect change to come too quickly, or we’re not prepared to put in the effort or give it the focus required to get us from where we are to where we want to be.

Making dramatic changes in our lives requires courage, self-belief, realistic expectations and timeframes, and a good support network to keep us on track. But more importantly (and the bit that many of us forget) it requires action! Too much thinking and not enough “doing” will stop it dead in its tracks. It’s all very well signing up for the gym membership (let’s face it, we probably don’t even have to set foot in the gym for that bit), but without physically picking up our sports bag and leaving the house, we’re not going to achieve that beach body we claim to crave!

Dump the Energy Vampires

Hanging out with the wrong people can be the death of many a New Year’s Resolution. “You can’t set up your own business“; “Why would you want to lose the security of a steady salary?“; “You’ll never lose that much weight and keep it off“; “What’s the point of learning to swim at your age“; “Why would you want to speak Spanish?” etc etc. We’ve all heard it. And it doesn’t take much to plant the seed of negativity, which can easily throw us off track. The result? We have our excuse to quit.

So we need to ensure that the voices in our ears are echoing our own goals and beliefs. If not, then it’s time to dump the energy vampires.

Start with WHY!

Understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing is essential. If you don’t know the “why”, then the “how” becomes impossible. Before committing to any major changes, go ahead and ask yourself “Why?” And it needs to be a strong enough reason to put yourself through the inevitable low points that you’ll experience on your way to achieving your goal. If you don’t want it badly enough, you’ll quit before you get there.

It’s all in your head!

Self-doubt is perhaps the biggest obstacle to sticking to New Year’s Resolutions. Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right“. How many of us have thought about quitting a job we hate and going it alone, only to sleep on it and decide it’s better the devil we know?

I went through this very dilemma for years, having dutifully made my New Year’s Resolution to do something completely different for innumerable Januarys! I wanted to be my own boss, and work from home, but I never really believed I could do it, and so I didn’t! I stayed in jobs I hated, working long hours under increasing stress, enduring lengthy commutes, and having no freedom. It ultimately took a trip to A&E with chest pains to finally make me take the leap to independence!

RELATED: How to Quit the Quitting Habit

What’s so special about January anyway?

New Year's ResolutionsMany of us will continue to make New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st. And inevitably some of us will fail. But if we remember these simple steps, be realistic, know why we’re doing it, and then DO IT, there is no reason why we can’t be fitter, healthier, tobacco-free, self-sufficient, well-travelled mountaineers by the end of the year!

And if you still haven’t set out your plans for 2018, it’s not too late! Go grab a pen, and start goal-setting. Believe you can do it, find other people who believe you can do it, and then GO DO IT!!

Imagine how great it will feel to fling yourself headlong into the year with gusto and a justified sense of smugness, knowing you’re fully equipped to really hit your goals this time!

I mean, what’s so special about January 1st anyway?

If you need help with your health and fitness resolutions, then get in touch using the Contact form and see how we can help you set your goals…and achieve them!

Still not joined the #JumpintoJanuary challenge? Sign up and get started today! And don’t worry, you can catch up with Week 1 here

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