Fact: 60 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail!
Yet 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions each year regardless if they failed the prior year. And most likely they will fail again this year. Researchers have studied the nationwide phenomenon, and found the first two weeks usually go as planned. Then, people start making mistakes and by February most people are already on the road to failure. So why do most resolutions fail?
Mistake #1: Being Too Ambitious!
Getting too ambitious about achieving too many goals sets you up for failure. Most people are enthusiastic about what their potential new “life” will look like. They are excited and try to tackle too many things at once. Don’t make too many resolutions at one time and don’t over-complicate it. Keep it simple and try to focus on one or two major resolutions to gain enough momentum before you move on to the next thing. Resolving to lose weight, learn a language, go back to school, run every day, and cut down on your alcohol consumption may not be realistic. Pick one or two and focus on those. Then break it down even further to small actionable goals. Try dividing your goal up into weekly or monthly chunks to set benchmarks. If you genuinely want to run a marathon, first get to a 5K. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning yourself out.
Mistake #2: No Plan!
Setting goals that have not been adequately defined can be the downfall of your New Year’s resolutions. This happens when they have not spent the time to figure why these goals are important to them and what the costs would be if they were not accomplished. Ask yourself, “How will I feel when I get ?” That’s the real question. Discovering why you want something, which boils down to how you will feel when you get it, will help you determine what you really are striving for. For example: if lose weight is your goal. Ask yourself “why do I want to lose that weight? How will I feel when I’m 20lbs lighter? Then ask yourself why it is important to feel that way and what happens if it doesn’t happen? Having a clear understanding of what you want and why you truly want something will help you keep that goal. Ultimately, you have to decide that you want to commit to your goals if you’re going to make them happen and knowing the why, then planning a strategy will ensure that you are successful. Make the resolutions specific, for example, instead of “I’m going to lose weight!” Spell out how much weight, how you are going to do it, and set a deadline. Then ask yourself How are you going to stay motivated? What possible obstacles could throw you off track? Prepare in advance how you will handle them.
Or, if all of this sounds too overwhelming to do alone — hire a coach. Coaches can help you get the answers you’re looking for and help you map out a plan.
Mistake #3: Shaming Yourself.
Don’t try to motivate yourself with negativity and don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day. So you’re going to run every day for the entire year because you think you’re fat? Tell me how that goes for you! First of all, if you don’t leave yourself room for reasonable exceptions (like when you have the flu), you’ll feel like a failure when it’s not warranted. And as for those shame spirals? Focusing on things you don’t like about yourself, has actually been proven to be counterproductive. For instance, there’s evidence that “fat shaming” leads to weight gain instead of loss, and teenagers behave badly when parents expect them to. If you think you’re a failure, you increase your chances of failing. Put an end to negative self-talk.
Mistake #4: Keeping Your Resolution To Yourself.
There are some mixed opinions about this. But we say…go public with your goals! Find an accountability partner or two! If you’re serious about your goal, meaning you have a plan, then telling a friend may be the added pressure you need to succeed. Joining a group can be the best way to help you achieve your goals because you can make goals together and help each other stick to them. Our Look Great Naked 21-Day Intensive Program starts January 12th (why 21 days? keep reading).
Mistake #5: Keep Your Expectations Low.
This might sound counterintuitive but we think that it helps people reach their goals. People expect results after only a couple of weeks of sacrifice like dieting and exercise. When they don’t achieve their goal within that time frame, or with the success they expected, not only does the promise not work but it can also damage their self-esteem. Then most people give up after the feel like they’ve failed. So change your expectations. You’re not going to lose 20 lbs by the end of January so don’t even try! Shoot to lose 5 lbs in January, 5 lbs in February and so on. You’re chances for success are better.
Mistake #6: Not Changing The Wiring In Your Brain
No you don’t need a lobotomy. You just need to create new neural pathways. Changing behaviors won’t lead to success unless you change the very wiring within your brain. Brain scans have revealed that habitual behaviors are created by thinking in patterns, which form new neural pathways and memories inside the brain, according to Psychology Today. After 21 days of repeated behavior, these new pathways become the default in your brain, and help when you’re faced with a choice: fruit salad or cheesecake for dessert? The trick is to make it past this time, stay persistent, and break barriers into the years to come. Doing the same thing for 21 days doesn’t create boredom, it creates a new habit. (21 days? Like how we did that?)
So now you know! Which New Year’s resolution mistake have you been making? How can you ensure that this year you won’t make them again?