Nothing can be more inspiring to us than the thought of a brand new, unopened year of possibilities ahead of us. We’re able to forget about the past year and all of the indiscretions, petty arguments, bad break ups, poor career choices and general maladies that plagued us. We can also celebrate the triumphs we had and hope to usher in new ones. However, you might be surprised that just 45% of us actually make resolutions for the New Year. That’s likely because around 24% never succeed or fail at their New Year’s resolutions. Below you’ll find 5 of the biggest culprits of resolution sabotage.
- Your Goals Are Too Vague
“I’m going to get in shape”, “I’m going to lose weight”, “I’m going to start following my dreams”. These are great resolutions but you can see they’re so vague that uttering them is basically pointless. Unless you have clearly defined goals, it’s going to be almost impossible for you to succeed. If you’re saying you want to get into shape, be more specific. Set a goal for yourself that allows you to measure progress and see that you’re completing your goal. Instead of “I’m going to get in shape” say something like, “I’m going to start training for the marathon coming up this October. I’m going to contact a local group that trains and join them.” Instead of “I’m going to lose weight” try, “My goal is to lose 15lbs. in the next 3 months. I’m joining my local fitness center and getting a personal trainer.”
The more specific and defined your goals are the more likely you are to find success.
- You’re Including Others That Are Unaware
If you’ve ever been the victim of this crime, you’re already well aware of why this never works. You weren’t asked. This resolution folly is when you make a resolution but include others in the plan without their knowledge. It might be a husband or wife saying, “We’re going to start eating healthier this year. No fast food, no pizza.” The unaware party suffers through this brilliant plan long enough to make it hell on everyone just before the mastermind throws up their hands. Listen, if you want to make a resolution, that’s up to you. Before you decide to drag others along for the ride you better have a talk with them first and make sure you’re on the same page.
You just never know, you may have the blessing of the person you choose to include, if you ask them first. They may be inclined to say yes because they were having similar thoughts or they were struggling with a New Year’s resolution and your idea sounds great. Just an FYI, if the resolutions are about losing weight or getting in shape, make sure you present them in a way that’s asking for help, not sending a message that you think someone is overweight.
Making resolutions is great. Just don’t surprise someone with a joint-resolution they’re unaware of.
- Your Goals Are Unrealistic
This is a lot like #1 on the list. If your goals are too crazy or far-fetched you won’t reach them. If your goal is to lose 100 lbs. by March, you better have 100lbs to lose. If your goal is to run that marathon but you need to lose 200lbs. before you could possibly train by running 5, 10, or 15 miles, better think again. The best part about making goals you can achieve is that you see progress. This helps you feel better and gives you the boost you need to continue making progress. Without realistic, well defined goals, you’re sunk before you begin. Will you learn a new language this year? Maybe. Will you master Mandarin Chinese? Not likely. Will you start working out this year? Sure. Will you become an Adonis in 4 months? Not likely. Will you take up martial arts? Up to you. Will you channel Bruce Lee with your speed and tactics? Again, not likely.
Being realistic about goals will allow you to see progress and greatly increases your chances of success.
- You Have Too Many Goals
Ok partner, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take it easy on the champagne before making your resolutions or you could end up with a laundry list of to do’s for the New Year. The more simple and limited your goals are the more likely you are to get into a rhythm trying to achieve them. If you think changing careers, getting into shape, finding the love of your life, making more money, and learning French are all going to happen in the New Year, you might be dreaming. Don’t overdo it. One or two goals should do.
One or two achievable, well defined goals should be enough to keep you busy for the better part of the New Year.
- You Don’t Know Yourself Very Well
One of the major reasons resolutions fail is because people are not being honest with themselves. If you are more productive during the late hours of the evening and you’ve been this way for most of your life, trying to change yourself into a morning person is going against the very laws of your nature. If going to the gym to jump on a treadmill or elliptical machine ends in misery after 20 minutes because you would rather play a pick-up game of basketball, then go play basketball. Do things that make sense, within reason. Again, change is about doing what you’ll be willing and able to do just outside of your comfort zone. This doesn’t mean you should stick to old habits if they’re unhealthy. It means don’t try to reinvent the wheel if you need the wheel to win the race.
Stick with resolutions you know you can do because you know you. Don’t kid yourself into believing you’re superman or woman this year if you know you’re more of a Scooby Do.
- Look At Who You’re Hanging Around
This one may be hard to swallow. One reason we fail at our New Year resolutions is because of the people we surround ourselves with. If you would like to give up or slow down your drinking this year, don’t hang around your group of budding alcoholic friends. If you would like to be healthier, don’t hang around those that have unhealthy lifestyles. If you want to make more money, ditch the friends that are terrible at managing theirs. Ok, you don’t have to ditch everyone to reach your goals but you should really evaluate how much of your time you’re giving them. Especially if their goals are not aligned with your own.
If your current group of associates is bringing you down, ditch them and find like-minded individuals to surround yourself with to help you achieve your goals.
Resolutions don’t have to be difficult to achieve. Use this list to help you determine what goals you want to reach in 2015. Remember to keep them simple, well defined, and reasonable and you’ll be knocking your resolutions out of the park.
To your growth,