Why Resolutions Fail - Avoid Pitfalls & Focus on Small Wins

goal setting resolutions Dec 30, 2022

As we prepare to welcome a shiny new year, we can take the opportunity to think about our goals, our habits, and take stock of our lives. We’ve talked about the power and importance of awareness and goal setting in prior posts. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. 

For us, this practice is an annual ritual, and we’d love to invite you along. Join us on January 13th for a two hours workshop, focused on reflection, goal setting and visualization. 

We are huge believers in setting goals that capture all the essential dimensions of a full and fulfilling life, including your physical and mental wellbeing, and revisiting them regularly. 


What’s a New Year’s Resolution?

A resolution is “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year”. According to research, 41% of people set them every year. 

Statista’s chart of the day featured the most frequent New Year’s resolutions, and the top 3 are once again focused on living a healthier life. 

Infographic: America's Top New Year's Resolutions for 2023 | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista 

Why do resolutions fail?

Resolutions alone are often not enough. About 91% of resolutions don’t lead to sustained change, and many start dropping off their new habits by the end of January. Here are a couple of the top reasons why resolutions fail: 

  • Many resolutions aren’t specific - a resolution like “I’m going to exercise more” is too broad, and we know that vague statements tend to not have the same kind of follow through. Creating resolutions that are specific can help boost success. (learn more about SMART goals in this excellent blog post). A resolution like “I want to move for 10 minutes a day” is much easier to measure, and therefore is more likely to be successful. 
  • Resolutions can be too big - motivation is an expiring resource, and we tend to set our goals when it is at its highest. But when motivation wanes, resolutions often pay the price. Set resolutions that don’t rely on sky-high motivation each and every time. 
  • Resolutions aren’t always realistic - we love to think that our time is infinitely elastic. It’s not. If we set resolutions that can’t fit in the realities of our lives, we won’t be able to follow through on them. The best way to learn where your time is going and how much capacity you actually have is through a Time Inventory, learn more in this post. Setting a resolution that takes an hour a day won’t work if every moment of your day is oversubscribed. Start small. 
  • We go at it alone - having the support of accountability partners can up our chances of success dramatically, especially if we are striving for bigger shifts that require an adjustment in the behaviors of others (for example, healthy eating goals might benefit from removing certain types of foods from the home). 


What can we do about it?

These common pitfalls are part of why our workshop focuses on creating specific, realistic, achievable goals, and breaking down our bigger aspirations into practices we can follow through on. 

The resolutions that tend to be most successful are ones that are specific, achievable, feasible, and appropriately challenging. Every year, a portion of people who set resolutions follow through, and with a little intention and planning you can be one of them. 

For more information on how to build resolutions that stack the odds in your favor, check out our blog post on Minimum Viable Priorities, the smallest possible expression of your goals to rig the system for your success.

Over here, we’ll be focused on our own small goals: a daily meditation practice (just a few minutes long), regularly reading (a few pages a day is enough), daily movement (walking the dog, or having a dance-off with the kids counts) and practicing gratitude and joy. 

Our first workshop of 2023 is right around the corner - a goal setting & vision board session on January 13th! Over this two hour session, you will....

  • Complete a guided reflection on 2022. Celebrate what you've accomplished, overcome and endured. Take a moment to close out the year past, and leave behind what no longer serves you. 
  • Go through a step by step process to set inspiring and actionable goals for 2023. Try different visioning exercises, and follow a proven method to tap into your direction and desires.
  • Create a compelling visualization that will help keep your goals front and center throughout the year.

Start the year with clarity and focus. Join an intimate group in this fun experience, we’re keeping spaces limited!

And on that note, we wish you a wonderful end of 2022. See you in 2023!

Want a nudge to be more mindful? Grab the Mindful in 5 Phone Wallpaper!

I'd love a wallpaper!

Never miss a post!

Get notified anytime we have something new.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.