Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Top 3 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail and What You Can do about it

With the upcoming new year, millions of people will set New Year’s resolutions, only to soon fail and go back to old habits. Instead of advising people about how to set better goals, I thought it would be better to look at what I think are the top 3 reasons people’s resolutions fail.

A FranklinCovey survey conducted in 2007 showed that 35% of respondents broke their resolutions by the end of January and 77% of respondents admitted to breaking their resolutions some time during the year. This is the first of 3 blog entries. Check back next year (also known as next week) to find out reasons 2 and 3 to ensure these are not the cause of your own downfall.

Reason #1 – Your resolutions are what you think you SHOULD do instead of what you WANT to do

I should start exercising, I should lose weight, I should stop smoking are all examples of what people say to themselves before setting a New Year’s resolution to do just that. The problem is that we are basing our resolutions on other people’s expectations, by what we see in a magazine, or see on television. However, we have no true motivation to achieve these goals.

The Solution:
The only way you will stick with a goal is if it means something significant to you. The first step to overcoming this obstacle is to evaluate why you are setting your particular resolution. Is it because you really want to do it, or because it is what you think you ought to do? In the same 2007 FranklinCovey survey mentioned earlier, 33% of respondents admitted that they were not committed to the resolutions they set.

When setting your resolution, think about committing yourself to one or two goals – no more – that will make you truly happy. Don’t just focus on the goal, but instead focus on why you want to achieve that goal. Instead of saying I want to stop smoking, say to yourself, I am going to stop smoking to improve my health and increase my energy and stamina when playing with my kids. By tapping into the reason or motivation behind the goal, you are more likely to commit yourself to achieving your goal.

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