How many times have you set New Years goals and then given up on them before February? You can join the other 80% of people who never follow through on their commitments, or you can fix these five things and never quit again.
New Year's resolutions are extremely strong motivators for most of America, but with so much motivation going into the new year, why do most New Year's resolutions fail? The answer lies in the difference between "motivation" and "discipline." You can be heavily motivated, but if you don't commit, make it a non-negotiable in your schedule, and show up every single day, you won't make progress.
If you have trouble sticking to your New Year’s goals, here are five things you need to fix.
Why Do New Year's Goals Fail?
1. Resolutions fail because they are not rituals.
A "resolution" is just quick attempt to solve a problem that can really only be tackled with a long-term, consistent commitment. Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is, and that goes for any resolution that promises to help you accomplish nearly anything worth maintaining in under 30-60 days.
2. Resolutions fail because they sound too final, and the mind resists them.
How many New Year's resolutions have you heard that sound like, "I'm cutting out X completely this year?" Whether it's processed food, spending hours on the phone before bed, or drinking too much alcohol, cold-turkey elimination just doesn't jive well with some people, and the finality of such a goal can set you up for failure. If you're going to set a goal, make it reasonable for you.
3. Resolutions fail because you haven’t practiced them.
The holidays can be tough for some people, with some allowing all their nutrition and training to fall completely off the rails before getting back on track on January 1.
But the smartest people start before January. Studies show that it takes more than two months to actually make something a habit, so if you wait to start in January, you won't be in the zone until at least March. Give yourself a one-month head start before the competition by beginning in December.
4. Resolutions fail because no one is holding you accountable.
When Spartan CEO Joe De Sena started the Spartan Death Race, hundreds of people were showing up for the near-impossible race, and 90% of them were quitting within HOURS of showing up. So, he started requiring prospective racers to print their commitment to showing up for and completing the race in a local newspaper. That way, if they backed out of their commitment, they had public shame and embarrassment to reckon with. Problem solved.
5. Resolutions fail because you didn’t choose them wisely.
Stop shooting for the stars. That's not to say you shouldn't have ambition, but if you've never run a mile before, you couldn't reasonably expect to be capable of safely running a marathon by March 1, no matter how motivated you might feel. Instead, commit to something attainable — something specific and measurable — that you can do (or tolerate) every single day, and don't relent.
And above all, ensure that you always have a "why" associated with your goal. When the going gets tough and you want to quit more than anything, your "why" will get you through.