By the six month point after making New Year resolutions, over half of us have already totally given up on at least one of them. Why?
Here are some ideas:
- Timing. January is a tough month to begin anything new. We’ve already packed on pounds starting during Halloween all the way through to the New Year celebrations . Not to mention, it’s cold and dark out (at least in the U.K.) making us less active and even less motivated to change. Money is often tighter in January, after splurging during the holidays. Stress is higher, as well.
- High motivation with no real plan. Those New Year’s resolutions don’t come with instructions. We can easily say, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year”, but that’s only the first step. To stay motivated, you need a detailed plan and often expert advice to be more likely to succeed.
- Setting unrealistic goals. Often we set unrealistic goals, such as going cold turkey from smoking or losing 50 pounds in 6 months. We sometimes set multiple resolutions that have nothing in common (like losing weight and getting out of debt) expecting to accomplish them all simultaneously. We set our expectations too high.
- Being too tough on ourselves. We have big expectations for ourselves, and then end up having an even bigger disappointment when our progress is slower than we expected or we have an occasional setback. This can cause you to give up.
- Lack of support or accountability. Trying to stay motivated on your own is tough. We’re social beings. We do better trying to reach a goal when we have support and are being held accountable for what we do. If no one knows you’re on a diet and fast food isn’t on your approved menu, the only thing keeping you away from the fast food counter is your own self-control.
Now you know what causes you to fail at your New Year’s resolutions. To make resolutions work, it involves changing your behaviour, setting realistic goals, having a system for reaching the goal, and having others hold you accountable.
So how do you do that? Find out here!