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Why New Year resolutions don’t work – and what to do about it


As a new year begins, many of us will be thinking about making resolutions. Unfortunately, a recent study shows that we’ll only be able to keep about 8% of our resolutions. 92% of our resolutions will fail! So how do you ensure that you can beat these odds?

Make the right resolutions for you

Before you make any New Year resolutions ask yourself these questions:

Why am I making this resolution?

Why is this change needed?

Does this change align with my priorities and core values?

In other words, is this something that you really want, or is it just something that you think you should be doing?

Turn resolutions into goals

Once you’re happy with the answers to these questions, turn your resolutions into goals. A resolution is just an idea in your head, but a goal is something you can work towards and commit to.

A goal needs to be:

– Written

– Specific

– Measurable

– Achievable

– Supported with smart strategies

For example, one of your New Year resolutions may be “to spend more time with my family”. You may do pretty well for a few days or weeks, but without the advantages of having a real goal, it can be easy to slip back into old habits. Your work hours slowly creep up again; you’re too tired to play with your son in the back yard; it’s easier to sit in front of the TV at dinner-time instead of at the table.

Let’s have a look at how you might turn your resolution into a goal. Your written goal might look something like this: “To spend at least 10 hours a week engaging with the whole family”. How are you going to achieve this? Perhaps you can talk to your employer to ensure you only work a certain amount of overtime hours per week. You could schedule specific times during the week where the family does something together. You could make a commitment to eat dinner at the table every night.

Get into good habits

Once you’re committed to your goal, have specific strategies in place and start getting into good habits, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts, and motivation to carry on no longer becomes an issue. Life coaching can help you to structure a workable plan.

Make this year the year you turn good intentions into positive action. Make it the year you turn New Year resolutions into real goals.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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