January 9th and your New Year’s Resolutions have gone out of the window. Don’t be disheartened. Well done for trying something new but now try an approach that works instead. Here are the top 5 reasons why New Year’s Resolutions don’t work and what you need to do about it.
1. You haven’t changed overnight. You don’t wake up a different person on January 1st no matter what you’d like to believe so unless you change something about your behaviour, nothing will change about your career, your life or your health. You need to think honestly about your individual personality traits that get in your way and how you can overcome them. For example, if you are inherently lazy, hire a personal trainer or a coach to get you moving. If you are beaten back by negative thoughts, enlist the most positive person you know as your cheerleader.
2. Listing everything you want to achieve is pointless. It’s just a list! You need to turn that list into actions. Focus on 2 to 3 goals at a time and make them SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound. Once you’ve achieved them, set some more.
3. Bad habits take time to break. Going cold turkey is possible but very painful. If you love chocolate but want to eat more healthily, instead of cutting out sugar all together, cut-down or switch your afternoon chocolate fix to a couple of squares of dark chocolate. Keep a food diary to help highlight your weak spots and reinforce your new, positive behaviours.
4. January is depressing. One of the reasons New Years Resolutions fail is that we are miserable in January: debt-laden, freezing cold or flooded, no parties and feeling plumper than a turkey. Instead of feeling pressured into making changes when you don’t want to, change at the right time for you. I prefer a state of constant evaluation and review, and setting of new goals rather than enforced change at certain times of the year, or of life.
5. You’ll fall off the wagon. Only 8% of people will succeed at keeping their resolutions according to the Guardian and CNBC data says the cost of failing is more than $1,000 for many Americans. Instead, set 2 to 3 SMART goals that you really believe in and are committed to achieving. Measure and record your progress. Reward yourself and set new goals.
Nothing can stop the man from with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude, Thomas Jefferson.