Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

Jan 20, 2020 | Goals, Mindset

Got 2020 to a false start? 


Most will.

How many have set a goal for New Years?

Did you know 92% will fail. Did you know that statistics show.First week 27% abandon those goals. In the second week 31% of people quit.In fact only 8% of New Years resolutions stick.
Many people set goals but are set themselves up for failure by:

Not being clear on what they want or writing it down.

Not understanding the reason why it’s important to them.

Not creating focus in a positive direction that allows progress.

Not taking the action required to achieve their goals. 

How many decide they are want to lose weight or get fit.

How many join gym? Did you know in big box gyms 67% of gym memberships go unused. Those 24/7 gyms with cheap memberships rely on your ill formed New Years wish and lure you with a cheap membership as you feel you’ve taken the step you need to achieve your goal. Unfortunately as statistics show, most will fail.

Now, for many their goals are based on outcomes. ‘Outcome goals’ often sabotage us from making progress.

My hope is after watching and reading this you’ll switch your outcome goals to action steps that drive action in order to make progress that you can enjoy. 

So, why not ‘outcome goals’?

Negatively focused: They make us feel like we are missing something we want which effects our emotional state.

Lack intention: They don’t uncover the feelings we desire. Eg. Those focus on weight loss spent 32% less time on the goal than those who said they want to feel better.

Wrong focus: They focus on a result and not the process, it’s the process of daily practises that allows us to achieve anything. 

Essentially outcome goals have a lot of variables out of our control.Instead our focus should be on progress and in order to make progress we need to take action through our behaviours. 


Now let’s focus on how we can switch your outcome GOALS into BEHAVIOURS to help you achieve greater success in 2020.


The first step to help increase your chance to success for any goals is to write it down. Know what you want and create timeframe that you are not attached to but instead helps you create a map. Many don’t even write their goals down. Simply stating an outcome you want whether as a goal or a resolution isn’t enough. Did you know when you write down your goals 42% more likely to achieve them (thanks @migoals for the stat)So of course I’m going to recommend you start there. 


Next, use positively framed goals that don’t focus on what you don’t want but instead what you do.Examples of negatively framed goals:I don’t want to smokeI want to stop drinking alcohol. I don’t to be on medications.I want to stop being fat. *The last one may seem aggressive but I guarantee this is the voice in too many people head. 


This is focusing on what you don’t want. When you keep telling yourself to stop something you set your self up for failure as that’s where your focus is. It’s like if I told you to stop thinking about a pink elephant, now your focus is on the pink elephant even though I told you not to. When you think about quitting junk food you keep thinking about junk food further reinforcing the habit. 


Instead think of your inspiring future and uncover the intent.


I want to be free of addictions and feel empowered.I want to be confident and feel strong. 


These make us feel better, more successful and inspired to keep moving forward. It’s not focusing on lack, it’s not negative but instead evokes the positive emotion you’ll need to continue to take action. 


I believe progress = happiness and by committing to a process of progress you’ll move towards your goal without attachment. 


Next step is to take ACTION through behaviours to make progress. This process allows you to let go of attachment, allows you to break it down and to make progress which is the most important part. 


Behaviours empower you while not focusing on the outcome alone.This ensure your success is in your hands and can’t be dictated by outside factors. Behaviours allow you to focus on actions and not the end result. 


What this looks like in practise: Let’s say you want to lose weight (5 kilos), the behaviours would be:

Step 1. Start strength training 3 x per week

Step 2. Start doing meal prep on Sunday & Wednesday 

Step 3. Start adding 2 x conditioning sessions per week that you enjoy 

Step 4. Start going to sleep by 10pm Monday to Friday 

Step 5. Start to build a more structured eating pattern by planning meals with the goal to eat 4 x per day with mainly whole foods


Notice that now your goal is an action and not an outcome. You also have a plan to achieve your goal that is process and practise driven. It’s not overwhelming or disempowering but manageable and obtainable while making us feel good and confident to move forward. 


Remember there is nothing wrong with outcome goals but they are only part of the equation. When people simply state the outcome or resolution they desire it’s simple a wish.


It’s cliched but true. A goal without a plan is a wish. 


By focusing on the behaviours we’ll be able to make progress and I believe progress no matter how big or small. As long we as we are continuing to progress we’ll continue to feel good. After all, your goals are set in the desire to feel a certain way and if you can feel that great all the way through the journey then you’ve already won and I’m confident you’ll achieve your personal best. 


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