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Why People Fail to Keep New Years Resolutions

By: Brian Kim - December 30, 2012

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If you go to the gym regularly, you know what it's going to be like in the next couple weeks. The gym is going to get flooded with new faces wearing brand new workout gear doing bizarre exercises you've never seen before, taking up all the equipment while you and the other regulars patiently wait for your turn.

Then in a few weeks, those new faces will slowly start to dwindle, and you and the other regulars will look at each other with a sigh of relief knowing that the gym is no longer filled with the new years resolutioners.

This is a microcosm of what happens with people and their goals for the new year.

So why do they fail?

Let's start off with the obvious.

The reason why they have goals for the new year?

Because it's the new year.


I mean yeah it has some juice but it's not a good enough reason that will be SUSTAINABLE and the logic behind it is flawed too.

To wait until a specific day to start something.

If you want to start something, do it now.

If you want to become a kind person, be kind now. If you want to eat healthier, don't eat fast food for your next meal. Make a nice meal with brown rice, salmon, and some steamed vegetables. If you want to start saving for retirement, open up a retirement account and invest $50.

There's no need to wait for a special time.

Waiting for a special time is like saying you're going to start exercising when you lose 20 pounds of fat.

Yeah. Good luck with that.

But going back to the reason for the goals, the reason has to be important to you and it's OK if the reason is an "immature" reason. If you want to lose weight to make your ex jealous, use that as the fuel. Sure, it's not the most noble of reasons but whatever gets you going.

And what you'll find is that your reasons will morph into more healthier ones but for now, use whatever works.

The next obvious suspect as to why resolutions for the new year fail is that they're too big.

People figuratively desire to bench 300 pounds when they can't even bench 135 yet.

They can try and maybe they'll miraculously succeed but they'll burn out quickly and if they don't magically succeed in the beginning, the lack of progress will discourage them from persisting.

Start small.

There's no shame in starting small.

In fact, it's the wisest move you can make.

Look. Do you want to get into the habit of hyping yourself up, doing good for a while, and then losing OR do you want to get into the habit of winning?

Starting small helps get you those small frequent wins. It gives you a taste of positive consistency, not the crazy roller coaster ride people make themselves go through.

The last big reason as to why new years resolutions fail is linked to the second reason in that it's not about a big one time thing.

Change is a DAILY thing.

Nothing changes until you do something DAILY so you have to incorporate it into your everyday life.

It has to become a lifestyle.

And that only happens if you have a good enough reason to get you going, and when you start small so you can string together a bunch of wins, and then you begin to experience the benefits of doing it consistently and that helps to cement it into your life as part of your lifestyle so that it's just something you do as natural as eating and drinking.

There are plenty more reasons why people fail to keep their new years resolutions but these are the big ones that need to be countered if people want sustaining success.

Work on these and things WILL be different - not just this year, but for any time in the future.

You don't have to wait.

The seed is always available to be planted right now.

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