Why do New Year’s resolutions fail?

The turn of the year offers us a chance to change our lives for the better. Whether it’s to lose weight, be more productive or learn a new skill, we tend to set ourselves these goals when the melee of Christmas winds down and January begins. However, it’s often said that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first month.

Why do good intentions so often drift away so soon, and what can you do to ensure that your resolutions are not just for a few weeks, but for the full year and beyond?

1. Doing too much too soon

Sometimes, people try to change something about themselves in an extreme and very sudden way. If you’re someone who does very little exercise, for example, and then you suddenly decide to go on a long, exhausting run every day, your body is not going to like it.

Make gradual changes instead of enormous ones. Improve or cut down on one thing a week to achieve a more sustainable change.

2. The wrong time of year

January is in many ways a bad time of year to try and change your life. After overindulging at Christmas and New Year, the month hits us like a bump and to make major changes seems like going from one extreme to the other. Plus, it’s still cold, dark and you might feel a bit short of cash following Christmas, none of which is likely to put you in a great frame of mind for transforming your life.

This goes back to changing things gradually, but if January seems a grind to you, you could always delay your change by a month or two. Just make sure that you have a clear, fixed date in mind to start your resolution, otherwise it will probably just get delayed again and again.

3. Not enjoying it

Resolutions, ideally, should not be a chore. Set yourself challenges and monitor your progress. Your resolution can become a fun game if you treat it this way.

If you want to learn a new skill, make sure it’s one you enjoy. If you’re looking for a new job, make it one you can actually see yourself enjoying for a long time. Ensure your goals are driven more by ‘pull factors’ than the need to simply get away from your current situation.

Keeping a New Year’s resolutions is all about having the right frame of mind. Try our free course on mindfulness to discover more about this, and then why not make it your goal to take on one of our other courses in 2018?

Categories: Advice and Tips

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