There are many statistics out there about the number of people who are able to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, the numbers aren’t very pretty.
80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February, according to U.S. News. And a different study found that 23% of people quit their resolution after just one week with only 19% of people able to stick to their goals for two years (the length of the study).
So, let’s take a look at five reasons why you won’t stick to your resolution this year. Our hope is that by understanding these five reasons, you’ll be able to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
Reason #1: You’re Not Ready (Or Willing) To Change Your Life Yet
As the statistics above show, change is easier said than done. Sure, you may truly want to change your life this year, but change won’t happen on its own. In order for your thoughts to become reality, you need to put some action behind them and follow through.
“It’s important to recognize that outside-in solutions such as dieting, joining gyms, and so on are doomed to fail if, other than your well-intentioned resolve to change, you’ve done nothing to enhance your capacity to either sustain motivation or handle the inevitable stress and discomfort involved in change,” according to U.S. News. “Saying this differently: Unless you first change your mind, don’t expect your health goals to materialize.”
So, if you’re looking to kick-start your health and fitness journey this winter, you have to do more than just sign up for a gym membership or exercise classes. You have to show up for yourself and really put in the work in order to change. And if you’re not ready to change yet, that’s OK, too.
“Rather than launch your resolution on January 1st, decide you’ll change your habits when you’re ready to commit,” according to Psychology Today. “Whether that means you wait a few days or you put off launching your goal for a few months, delaying your goal is better than abandoning it altogether.”
Reason #2: You Get Defeated And Give Up Too Easily
Just as important as it is to make sure you’re constantly showing up for yourself in order to reach your goals, it’s also crucial to be patient and kind with yourself as you embark on this new journey.
“Mistakes are bound to happen when you’re working on a resolution,” according to Business Insider.
Maybe you started off the first month of the year really strong and accomplished what you set out to, but then you got thrown off course the next month. Instead of saying, “What’s the point?” and giving up after your first setback, choose to let it go and try to do better the next day. One bad day, or week, doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) ruin the rest of your month, or even your year.
If you fall down, pick yourself back up and keep going. That’s exactly what the most successful people do. A study found that 53% of people from the successful resolution group experienced at least one slip, and the mean number of slips over the two-year interval was 14.
Reason #3: You Don’t Have A Plan And A Tracking System
The excitement of your resolution may be enough to power you through the first week or two, but what happens after that? If you don’t have some sort of plan in place for your goal, or at least milestones that you’re excited to hit along the way, it’ll be that much more difficult for you to stick with your resolution, especially if you’re not tracking your progress.
“Make your plan as specific as possible and then follow through,” according to Forbes. “Don’t forget to write it down.”
By breaking your resolution down into smaller, more manageable goals, it’ll help you keep your eye on the prize in both the short- and long-term. Another idea is to use a calendar, or a system that allows you to track your progress. Then you can check off the days that you’ve completed the tasks that you’ve set out to do. You’ll see your progress right there in front of you, which will hopefully inspire you to keep up the good work and continue on. Make sure to celebrate your victories along the way.
Reason #4: You Don’t Have Support
You need support if you’re going to accomplish your goals. Since support comes in many different forms, you’ll have to decide the type of support you need.
“While paid coaches, trainers, and assistants are ideal for a variety of goals, free help is still help,” according to Forbes. “Ask your partner to make breakfast for the kids while you go to a HIIT class every Saturday morning. Or start an accountability group text with a few friends.”
For those of us who are used to helping others, it can be difficult for us to ask for help. However, it’s important that we value and choose ourselves in order to succeed. By knowing that we have supportive and loving friends and family who will be there for us each step of the way, it’ll help give us the strength to continue on.
And if you need support, make sure that you speak up and ask for it.
Reason #5: You’re Not Being Honest With Yourself
The top New Year’s resolutions that people wished for most last year were to diet or eat healthier (71%), exercise more (65%), and to lose weight (54%), according to Statista. While you may feel pressured to pick one of those if you’re having a conversation with friends or family members about New Year’s resolutions, if that’s not what you really want to do, don’t do it.
“Often times, we find ourselves committing to things because we think we should,” says success coach Amy Applebaum, in a Shape article. “Don’t waste your time with that. You will only be disappointed in yourself. Make resolutions you actually want to achieve because you really want to and are actually going to put a plan of action towards.”
It’s important to make sure that you’re doing a resolution for the right reasons, not because you’re feeling pressured from people to do them. And like we said earlier, if you’re not ready to make changes to your life today, or even this year, that’s OK. Be kind to yourself and simply do the best that you can.