Have you ever noticed that people seem to start every year off by setting some resolutions? You vow to hit the gym more, or lose some weight, work harder to get a raise at work, or perhaps even be a better friend or relationship partner. Does this sound familiar? If you’re like most people, it does. And, if you’re like most people, 98% in fact, your resolutions will never come to fruition. In fact, this happens so often, that it’s become a joke. Every gym across the country gets busy in January, and by February, things are back to normal. Do you ever wonder why this is? Why is it that your best intentions always seem to go by the wayside so quickly? Here are the 5 top reasons why resolutions almost never work, and what to do about it:
Reason #1 – Resolutions Are Action Oriented, Not Outcome Oriented
A resolution is defined as “a course of action determined or decided on”. When most people set their new year’s resolutions, they simply determine an action they are going to take, like “joining the gym”, or “losing some weight”. They don’t take the time to determine a specific outcome they are trying to achieve. For example, changing your resolution from “joining a gym” to an outcome of “losing 30 pounds of fat in 30 days” is completely different. An outcome has a destination, vs. just having an action that you are taking. It’s also very specific, can be measured, has a date or deadline to it, and there are many ways to achieve it. Also, an outcome is the first step, not the only step, to having success!
Reason #2 – Resolutions Lack A Powerful Purpose Behind Them
Let’s be honest here. Most of us set resolutions simply because it’s the thing to do at the start of the year, right? When we come from that place, it’s almost like an obligation. Let me ask you, how inspired are you when you are obligated to do something? Yeah, that’s what I figured! The reality is that the #1 reason people don’t achieve their goals is that they don’t have a powerful reason to. Think about it. When was the last time that you accomplished something big? I’m guessing it’s when you had a powerful reason to. Whether it’s something painful you were trying to avoid, or something that you really wanted for yourself, you took action and followed through because you had a reason to. This is the biggest key to your success!
Reason #3 – Resolutions Usually Don’t Align Your Actions With Your Intentions
Sticking with our example of “joining the gym”, most resolutions don’t align actions with intentions. This is mainly because you aren’t clear with your outcome in the first place! If you don’t know where you are going, you have no chance of getting there. Having a clear outcome that you want to achieve, with a strong reason or purpose to achieve it, coupled with a detailed action plan is what you need to insure success. Most resolutions have one action that takes place, like “joining the gym”, and once that action is taken, that’s it. The key here is to align your daily actions with your intention or outcome by breaking down the steps and taking consistent action on your plan.
Reason #4 – You Don’t Track Your Progress With A Resolution
Another key area where resolutions fall short is tracking progress. Since most resolutions are vague, there’s no way to really track if you’re successful or not. When you can’t track your progress, you tend to quickly lose momentum. Once that happens, you become one of the 98% of people who never achieve what they resolved to in the first place. Having a clear and concise outcome that you are trying to achieve allows you to easily track your progress, which insures that you’ll be able to tell if you’re going in the right direction or not.
Reason #5 – You Don’t Celebrate When You Make A Resolution
Whenever it’s your birthday, you celebrate, right? How about when you graduate, get a promotion at work, retire, or achieve something big in your life? You celebrate that as well. When was the last time you celebrated achieving your new year’s resolutions? That’s what I thought!
If you want your resolutions to stick, you have to not only celebrate your wins, but you have to celebrate your progress along the way. When you do this, it makes it fun and builds momentum. And, when you have a detailed action plan, along with milestones that you are tracking along the way, it makes it easy to find things to celebrate!
If you are tired of setting new year’s resolutions and not having them stick, take action on the 5 reasons above, and you’ll find yourself celebrating your wins!
Have an outstanding year!