We’ve briefly touched upon the reasons why we make resolutions. These promises to ourselves can be powerful motivators in helping us to move forward in our lives. They give us a sense of a purpose. They also tend to fail to become a reality more often than not. Chances are good that you’ve made resolutions, probably with the start of a new year, which has failed to stick. You’re certainly not alone. Perhaps if we can understand why resolutions often don’t work, we can find a way to make our next one become more successful. I’d like to take some time to share my thoughts with you on this matter.
You Take on Too Much
This can happen in a number of ways. One common error when making resolutions is to choose a bunch of things you want to change about yourself RIGHT NOW. Your brain can only handle so many things at once. It’s not possible for you to focus on making too many changes. Instead, choose one or two resolutions upon which to place priority. Also, know that these changes won’t occur overnight. Many experts believe it takes at least a month of concerted effort to make someone become a habit. So bear in mind that progress will occur in small increments, rather than in one magnificent transformation. Understand that taking baby steps to instill new habits will be a far more effective approach than simply expecting to change a long-ingrained behavior immediately.
You Were Too Vague
“I’m going to lose weight this year,” is probably the most common resolution ever made. How many times have you uttered these words? How many times have you been successful in losing a significant amount of weight or even changing your health for the better? I’m not condemning you. I’ve been there, too. The problem isn’t that you lack willpower or with any flaw in your character whatsoever. It’s that the intention is simply too vague. A well-defined resolution should specify aspects such as the number of pounds you’d like to lose and a time frame for which you hope to see the change occur. In addition, planning should include benchmarks for measuring your progress. We’ll discuss these things in more detail later in our challenge.
You Lacked Focus
Without proper focus on your resolution, it’s bound to fail. “Out of sight, out of mind,” may be a cliché, but most sayings such as these are based in some bit of truth. Getting busy with day to day responsibilities, poor time management, daily stressors and other distractions can rob your attention from your important goals. Deciding to prioritize your resolution and making a plan to keep it at the forefront of your mind will go far toward making it a reality.
There are tons of other potential reasons your past resolutions may have failed. I don’t want to dwell on the negative. Simply understanding these common mistakes will help you to move past them in setting new goals that you will accomplish.