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Why Does Your New Year's Resolution Fail?

It’s that time of year again, and 45% of North Americans will create a New Year’s Resolution. Within eight weeks, 92% of them will fail. That’s an alarming rate. Why such a high failure rate? I will share my findings with you and also provide some ways to improve your success rate.


Not much thought has been put into your resolution.

We create resolutions on a whim. Friends, relatives, or even the media can influence us to create resolutions that are not meant for us.

Your desire to achieve what you want is not strong enough.

The resolution you’ve created is a want and not a need. You would like to complete it; however, you’re not inspired to complete it. You are not motivated to take action.

You lose focus and eventually stop doing it. You give up.

There’s a phrase I love, “What you focus on expands.” When you focus on something, you work on that specific thing, and eventually, it becomes real. When you don’t focus on something, you put less or no energy into that thing and eventually forget about it.

Your expectations are set incorrectly.

You want the result to happen fast. However, you’re not putting enough effort into making it real. You either have to put more work into making it real or lower your expectations. My motto is “Slow and steady.”

Don’t believe in yourself.

You may have self-doubt. Your past failures could be preventing you from moving forward. You might also come up with many excuses which will prevent you from continuing on your resolution.

Too much thinking and not doing.

What I’ve discovered from my clients is that too much thinking stops them from taking action. Thinking is a result of fear. Fear holds you back from taking action because the result is unforeseen. Do you have any fears when you’ve something over and over again? I’ve another motto for this and it’s, “Don’t think, just do.”

Not enjoying the process.

In my opinion, your resolution must be fun when completing it. Find a way to make it fun.

Trying too hard.

When you try too hard, and the results are not materializing, you generally give up. Perseverance is key.

Not measuring your progress.

There’s a saying in management, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” The same goes for resolutions. You need to create some way to measure your incremental results.

No accountability.

I tell all my clients that you won’t do things for yourself, but will do it for someone else.

No Planning.

Believe it or not, any resolution or goal needs planning, commitment, and a time to work on it. Failing to plan is planning to fail.


Tell your community.

You have to announce to your friends, relatives, and your network what your resolution will be. By announcing to your circle, you are now committed to getting it done.

Clarify your resolution.

Most resolutions are not clear enough. For example, “I want to lose weight.” How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to lose it? What are you willing to do? When you are able to clarify your resolution, it will look like this, “I want to lose 20 pounds by June 1 by eating healthier foods and exercising 5 hours per week.” You may want to get even more specific by indicating the types of foods.

Think positively.

Have a positive attitude. Believe you can do it. Create a vision of what’s possible for you.

Create a SMART resolution.

Similar to point 2, your resolution must be:

Specific Your resolution must be clear Measurable Measure your progress during your resolution Achievable Your resolution must be reasonable and attainable Relevant Your resolution must matter to you Timely Your resolution must have a date of completion

Don’t beat yourself up.

Things don’t always come out the way you want it to, and there’s no need to beat yourself up. Have a positive attitude. Create small steps that lead to your success.

Reward yourself.

When creating your plan, it’s important to add milestones and reward yourself when you reach it. Celebrating your milestone is a great way of telling you that you’re getting closer to reaching your resolution; you’re doing a great job, keep it up.

Schedule it.

When you’ve created your plan, put your action steps in your calendar and allot time to complete it. Scheduling your actions will help you rid yourself of distractions as you’re now committed to it.

Find an accountability partner.

I find this to be very helpful. You’re not committed to yourself when completing the action but committed to someone else. How many times have you told yourself you would do something and not do it? When you tell someone else, and not do it. How bad do you feel?

I hope you enjoyed this report. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you would like further information. I’d be more than happy to help you out. If I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to find it for you. If you would like help with your resolutions, please email me, and we’ll set up a session. Good luck, and I hope this report has given you tips to be one of the 8% in succeeding with your resolution.

Blog posted by Daniel Fung, Certified Life Coach. For more information on Daniel visit his bio page in the website.

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