What we’re about to say may surprise you, so hold onto your seats. Ready? Are you sitting down? We don’t think you should make any New Year’s resolutions this year. Now we know this isn’t the popular opinion, but hear us out.
According to statistics, roughly 200 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year. Of those 200 million Americans, only about 8 percent actually achieve their New Year’s goals. You would think the number of successful individuals would be a little more impressive than that, given the fact that more than half of the population is participating. However, according to experts, there are more than a few reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t stick.
Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail
One of the main reasons that New Year’s resolutions fail is because they’re unrealistic and non-specific. According to research, the most common New Year’s resolutions are lose weight/get fit, save money (spend less), and quit smoking. While these New Year’s resolutions have a positive common theme – they’re all focused on bettering oneself – they also have another commonality: they’re not specific enough and they’re hard. Every single one of these goals requires a major life change, and without a clear cut path or specific goal-setting, you’re basically asking for failure.
Another reason that New Year’s resolutions fail is because people place too much hope on the outcome of their resolution. People convince themselves that if I could just lose weight, or save money, or stop smoking, then I will finally be happy; but that’s not necessarily the case – and when the resolution doesn’t live up to that expectation, people often quit. In order to improve your happiness level, you’ll have to improve your mindset. External things, like weight loss and more money in the bank, will certainly help, but they’re only a piece of a larger puzzle.
What to Do Instead
Now don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying that you shouldn’t make goals to better yourself and then work toward them, we’re just saying that maybe New Year’s resolutions aren’t quite the way to go. The New Year comes with a lot of pressure to start anew, but every day is a blank slate and an opportunity to make a change. If you have a goal, start RIGHT NOW. You don’t have to wait until Monday, or New Year’s Day, or after your birthday. There will always be an excuse not to start now, but they’re often just that: excuses.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Make a goal and then outline steps to get there. If your goal is weight loss, create an action plan. How much weight specifically do you want to lose? And what are you going to do to achieve that goal? Are you going to meal plan and work out three days a week? Write it all down and keep it visible.
- Enlist an accountability buddy. Tell someone your goal – bonus points if he/she has a shared goal – and check in with him/her regularly to make sure you’re both staying on track.
- Pay attention to your mindset. The major key to achieving your goals is believing you can, celebrating small successes, and overcoming any roadblocks or failures. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll never get there. Spend time reading personal development books or listening to motivating podcasts and, most importantly, put what you learn into practice.
- Focus on the present. Instead of focusing on the ultimate goal and how much more work you have to do until you get there, focus on the moment. What is one thing you can do right now that will help propel you toward your goal?
What you do think? Will you decide to give up resolutions this year and focus on short-term, everyday goals instead? If not, and you’re making resolutions, what are they? Will the way you approach them change after reading this article? We want to know!