If you’ve failed to achieve your resolutions year after year, you know how frustrating it can feel. Not this year, friend! Here are 3 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work and one thing you can focus on instead.
As the end of the year approaches, ’tis the season to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Americans spend a fortune on coaches, exercise equipment, apps, planners and books in the hopes that THIS will be the year they’ll change their lives.
But let me ask you a question.
Does everyone who makes New Year’s Resolutions achieve their goals?
No! Not even close.
80% of people who make resolutions have given up on their goals by Valentine’s Day. That’s a huge number! An 80% failure rate means something is flawed in our approach.
I mean, if I had a 20% chance of winning with my crappy poker hand, I would not go all in – know what I mean?
Almost 100 million American’s make resolutions each year, so it’s clear that we WANT to be successful. We want to achieve our goals.
I help professional women create lives with more purpose, peace and pleasure and here are three reasons that I believe resolutions don’t work – even for the most goal-getting high-achievers.
Reason #1: The goals are too restrictive
I don’t know what the hell it is about January 1st that makes people want to set these extreme goals. The kind of goals that consume your life and don’t leave room for anything else. The goals are too strict, the timelines are unrealistic and they deprive people of peace, pleasure and joy. Why would ANYONE want to stick to that. I wouldn’t.
If you want to achieve your goals, set yourself up to win. Give yourself a realistic, flexible timeline. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Find a way to make your goals work for you so you can make progress AND still enjoy your life at the same time.
That leads me to reason two.
Reason #2: The goals are short-term focused
We underestimate what we can do in a day, but overestimate what we can do in a year. We treat goals like a sprint, but most goals should be treated like a marathon. The problem with focusing on the short-term is that we either rush to reach a goal at all costs – causing us stress, putting strain on our relationships, making us basically miserable, OR we give up because it’s too hard.
What if, instead of focusing on a short-term goals that make us feel like shit, like losing X amount of weight for a wedding, we focused on a long-term goal that would make us FEEL GOOD – like improving your health with small, realistic, achievable actions and habits all year long?
There’s no rule that says you have to achieve your resolutions in three months, right? They’re our resolutions – so we make the rules and set the timeline. How can you let it be easy and set yourself up for success by giving yourself a long-term approach?
The third reason New Year’s resolutions don’t work?
Reason #3: They’re simply the WRONG goals
We are so focused on goals and resolutions because we believe that when we achieve them, we’ll be happy.
But here’s a question for you.
Is everyone that achieves their new year’s resolutions happy? No!
Because our goals don’t guarantee us happiness if they’re missing a key component.
Think of your vision for the life you want to create as a cake. Not just any cake. Not a crappy sheet cake. YOUR specific, gorgeous, fabulous cake.
If you don’t know what type of cake you want to bake, how will you know if the ingredients (your goals) are the right ones to get your desired outcome?
We work toward goals because we think if we achieve them we’ll feel a certain way. Happy. Fulfilled. Peaceful.
But I know a lot of people who got the degree, climbed the ladder, started the business thinking it would make them happy, and they’re actually stressed out, resentful, angry and unhappy.
When we have a vision for the life we want to create FIRST, before we pick our goals – we pick better goals. We consider more options.
We get the right ingredients for the cake we’re baking so it turns out and we don’t have a cake fail.
And when we know our vision, we can take a long-term, less restrictive approach to achieving our goals.
Those were 3 reasons New Year’s resolutions don’t work. I’d love to know which one resonated most with you. Drop the number in the comments and say hello!
READY TO FIND A NEW, FEEL-GOOD WAY TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS?
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