Why Resolutions Don’t Work (and How to Fix Them)

Why Resolutions Don't Work

Why Resolutions Don't Work

New year, new me – that’s how the saying goes. But what do we really change about ourselves at the turn of a calendar year?

Let’s think smaller…what are you going to do differently TODAY compared to what you did tomorrow. Resolutions are not about next year, next month; they are about today and tomorrow, and the next day. They are on-going and take effort and time.

For a while I used to say “I am against New Year’s Resolutions” but I don’t think that’s entirely true. Resolutions in other words are new goals, habits and I am 100% in support of those two things. If done correctly, New Year’s Resolutions can be beneficial.

Here’s a few ways how we can see New Year’s Resolutions in a different light:

Before writing your resolutions for 2017, reflect and learn from 2016: Many of us so eager to think about the future without learning from the past. What did you well in 2016, what didn’t go so well? What were your priorities and goals and how have they changed? I personally found Maxie Mccoy’s 25 questions reflection workbook really helpful. It helped me reflect about topics I hadn’t thought about like “what money was best spent? And what money was wasted?”.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon: Marketers know that the best time to lure people into their product/service is in the new year when people are hoping to make change. Make sure whatever you sign-up for is what you need for yourself at the moment. For example, many of my friends & family are signing-up for different fitness challenges and I’ve been tempted. But I know my life doesn’t need another fitness challenge right now because there are other more immediate matters I’d like to address (for example, growing this blog!). If you half-heartedly commit to something that you really don’t want or need, you are going to fail.

Think short term: Let’s be honest, how many of us can focus on the same goals for an entire year (if you can, please do share because I’d love to learn your ways!)? For the majority of us, it’s almost impossible to create resolutions for a full year. I’d recommend breaking down your goals into shorter time frames. I like 3 months because that’s long enough to instill a habit and see some sort of results without losing track.

Create a system: Many times we write a goal and fail to think of a system of how we are going to achieve said-goal. It’s important to write concrete, habitual steps you can take to meet that goal. I actually learned this tip from my full-time job where we write our quarterly goals (OKRs – objective key results). Our objectives are high-level but the key results we write are measurable & quantifiable.

Keep them visible: If you are going to create new year’s resolutions make them visible so you are kept accountable. Write them down, post them somewhere you will see them frequently. I know it can be uncomfortable to see your resolutions right in front of your face, but it’s important to have a constant reminder!

Homework time: Revisit your resolutions and see what edits you need to make to make them happen!

I also won’t be a hypocrite. I’m going to write my goals down and paste them on my wall so I can see them – loud & clear :).