It’s that time of year again. It’s time to make resolutions to change, become a better person, learn new things or meet new goals. But how often have you kept your resolutions? Changing a learned behavior is difficult. It’s not just you, everyone has trouble keeping their New Year resolutions. There’s no denying that resolutions may fail, but why?
1. Your Resolutions are Unrealistic
It’s possible that your resolution is significantly unrealistic. You may find this especially among fitness or health resolutions. The thing is, you might even believe it’s unrealistic, but you set the goal anyway. Working toward a resolution you know is going to fail is pointless. You need to set the bar at the right height. You need to be able to envision yourself reaching that goal and maybe even exceeding it. Don’t worry, you can set a more difficult resolution next year.
2. Your Resolution Might Not be Difficult Enough
On the flip side of the coin, you may have made a resolution that wasn’t difficult enough for you. Mark Murphy, the CEO of LeadershipIQ, says, “The more difficult the goal, the better your performance will be.” He writes that your brain needs to pay attention to the goal you set. If your resolution is way too easy for you, your brain will know it and you will lack commitment. So you need to make a goal that will stretch your thinking and make it challenging enough for your brain to commit to it. Simply said, you need to find a healthy balance of resolution difficulty.
3. Your Personality Might Work Against You
Personalities are what we are born with, so it may be hard to change it. Nevertheless, it’s important to know what personality traits may keep you from reaching your goals. When you have a grasp on how your brain and emotions work, you will be able to look for signs of those things working against you.
If you tend to procrastinate, you might want to look out for signs of putting your goals off until the right moment comes or always telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow. If you’re analytical, you may be overthinking you’re goal a little bit too much. Just set a resolution and make small steps toward it. If you have an addictive personality, that little habit you are trying to kick may be even more difficult to get rid of than what others may think. Even though having an addictive personality does not mean you are necessarily using harmful substances, it is good to be aware of your actions and the reasons for them since 10-15% of the population have an addictive personality. This could be as simple as staying mindful to what you are doing, why you partake in certain activities, and monitoring these actions so you can make the best choices moving forward!
Personalities are innate, but you can overcome the things that hold you back to reach your resolutions!
4. There May Be a Reward for Not Changing
Despite how much you want to change, there may be a subtle, yet rewarding payoff for not changing. You may not reach your goal of weight loss, but you enjoy great tasting food and eating whatever you want. You may fail at your resolution to stop smoking, but you felt less stressed because you allowed yourself to smoke. It’s easy to stay the same and there’s even something appealing about it. Be sure to remember why you want to change or reach a goal when you feel tempted to give up.
5. You May be Focusing on Negative Resolutions Rather than Positive Resolutions
Negative goals are things you want to stop doing, while positive goals are things you want to start doing. For example, you might want to stop worrying, which is an example of a negative goal. Rather, you should make a positive goal, like focusing on good things when you start to worry. For every negative goal, you should have a positive goal. It’s harder to learn to not do something than it is to learn to do something.
6. You Didn’t Plan Ahead
One common mistake of people who make resolutions is not planning ahead. Often, you need a game plan in order to successfully complete your resolution. You can’t resolve to go to the gym 4 times a week without obtaining a gym membership. Weeks go by and you make more excuses. Pretty soon, 6 months have passed and you never set foot in a gym. Make sure you plan ahead before you start on your resolution and you’ll be more likely to follow through with it.
7. You Set Your Goals in Absolutes
Sometimes we can be ultra-specific when making resolutions. You might promise yourself that you’re going to read one book a week. In reality, you probably won’t reach that goal every single week. Unfortunately, you set yourself up for failure when you set absolute goals. Allow room for mistakes.
Most importantly, be sure to have a strategy for catching up when you lapse. As long as you recognize the possibility of falling down, you’ll be able to get back up again if you have a good plan.
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.