Yes, indeed, only one third of the year lies behind us. This means that another three quarters of the year is still ahead. So the majority of the year is still available to live up to your promises, good intentions or New Year’s Resolution or how not to fail this year’s promises…

How about your Resolution?

Live Intentions

On average, about 40% of the adults in the Western world, make a New Year’s Resolution every year. Out of those, only about 25% will have broken one or more of them within two weeks. And by the end of January, the failure rate increases to 50%, according to John Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton.

Top 5 Intentions

According to Norcross, the top five resolutions made each year are:

  • Weight loss
  • Improve finances
  • Exercise more
  • Get a new job
  • Healthier eating

Whereby he puts forward that weight loss, getting more exercise and eating healthier are the ones mostly kept…

What’s the average length of time someone stays with their resolution?

  • Resolution maintained through first week—–75% of people
  • Past two weeks —- 71% of people
  • Past one month —- 64% of people
  • Past six months —- 46% of people

These statistics show an alarming number of people failing to follow through with their resolutions. In fact, it’s estimated that 75 percent of all New Year’s resolutions will end in failure. So, if we’re so determined to change at the beginning of a new year, why do so many fail at following through?

Why do you fail?

As you can see above, statistically by the six month point after making New Year resolutions, over half have already totally given up on at least one of them. Are you one of them and if so realize there is still a lot of time left this year to reach your goals!! Please read on, as I try to explain and share the most common pitfall to make you aware and can avoid them in the future.

Most common pitfalls

  • Timing. January is a tough month to begin anything new. Starting, we’ve already packed on some pounds or kilo’s during the festive season… Not to mention, it’s cold and dark outside (at least in my part of the world) making us less active and even less motivated to change. Also 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 your bad habits or losing 50 pounds in 6 months. We sometimes set multiple resolutions which 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 lane is your own self-control.

Now you know what causes you to fail at your New Year’s resolutions and more generally any goal you want to achieve. To make resolutions work and succesfuly reach your goals, it involves changing your behavior, setting realistic goals, having a system for reaching the goal, and having others hold you accountable.

Have a conscious day!

Filip De Pessemier