Five reasons why resolutions fail


It happens every year.  January 1st comes around and everyone is buzzing about their New Year’s resolutions.  Have you decided what your resolutions will be for 2015?  Before reading this post, take a moment to jot down your resolution(s).When you’re ready, I’m going to show you why the top resolutions fail and how to make yours better.

A Google search for “top resolutions” reveals very common themes.  Talk to your friends and you’ll hear these same ambitions.  In fact, you probably also heard them last year because many people have stopped pursuing their goal(s) by February.  So, how do you make resolutions attainable?  I’ve grouped similar ambitions to show you how.

Problem:  The goal is vague.


The first resolution to tackle is the one that sounds like a command.  Lose weight.  Diet.  Eat healthier.  Are these admirable goals?  Absolutely.  So what’s missing?  These statements are vague and good goals are specific and measurable.  Maybe the resolution should say, “I will lose 10 pounds by April 1st”?  Alternatively, “I will eliminate processed food from my diet and I will eat 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.”  These are not only commendable but also clearly defined and measurable aspirations.

Many of the top resolutions are vague.  They include: volunteer, manage stress, manage debt and save money. How would you fix them?

Problem:  Where is the motivation?


It is also helpful to note the importance of achieving a resolution.  This helps you confirm why you have set the goal and what you will achieve.  How motivating is “quit smoking” or “drink less”?  The resolution, “I will quit smoking by March 1st to improve my overall health and increase my longevity” is much more compelling and serves as a catalyst for change.

How would you improve the common resolution, “get organized,” so that it confers deeper meaning and persuasion?

Problem: The goal does not resonate.


“Learn something new” is a popular resolution.  I’m sure you have already identified that this goal is vague and the importance to the individual is not conveyed.  Another missing piece from this goal is resonance.  Develop your plan so that the intent of the action speaks from the heart, showing that the goal strikes a deep chord.  For example: “I will learn to meditate so that I can manage stress and remain present and mindful in my daily life.”  How’s that for resonance?

How can you make the resolution, “enjoy life/spend more time with family,” more resonant?

Problem: Where’s the excitement?


Who doesn’t want to go on an adventure?  Of course, we all define adventure differently, but we all want new experiences.  That’s why “travel to new places” is another top resolution.  That statement is boring; spice it up!  Where do you want to go?  How do you want to get there?  What will you do?  Who will you go with? When will you go?  Include those answers in your resolutions and you are sure to add a zing of excitement to it!

Can you add excitement to each of your resolutions?

Problem: Is the goal relevant or realistic?


“Get a better education” and “get a better job” are the last resolutions we will tackle.  Start by asking yourself, is this goal realistic or relevant?  If the answer is yes, include that information in the resolution.  Will you take classes after hours in order to maintain your current job?  If not, what source(s) of income will you put into place to support yourself as a full-time student?  Is it realistic to pursue a different job at this time?  What impact does the current market or economy have on your goal?  Don’t forget to make the goal as specific as possible.

There you have it: five different ways to improve your resolutions so that they become specific, resonant, and exciting ambitions!  Now that you have a better list of goals, what actions will you put into place to achieve them?  A coach can provide the focus, growth and accountability to reach your goals.  Contact me to make 2015 YOUR best year!

My best wishes to you for a fulfilling, successful and balanced year.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney


  1. Will share this post on facebook when I get home. On my iPhone at the moment. Great post.

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