The ongoing Journal of Journal Life

5 reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” ~ Pablo Picasso


The primary reason that New Year’s resolutions fail is that the resolutions, or goals, are not set properly. That’s why people find them tough.

Some common challenges we face when setting New Year’s resolutions:

1. There is usually a negative slant to resolutions. They are set with a negative mindset where the focus is around moving away from something that is not wanted such as smoking or being overweight. However, when you shift your focus to what you really want then you become far more motivated

2. There isn’t a powerful sense of purpose behind the resolution. Therefore, other priorities will take precedence if your resolutions are not given enough importance.

3. There is a lack of clarity around what you want. “I want to stop smoking” isn’t particularly helpful. However, being clear on why you want to stop smoking, how you are going to go about it, what support you need, how you will reward yourself for progress etc. is much more of a plan for success. As Bruce Van Horn state’s in his ‘Life is a Marathon’ podcast, you need to live a ‘premeditated life‘. Get the ball rolling in the direction of your dreams by purposefully thinking about what you want to achieve, then getting to it!


4. You are making it easy to give yourself a hard time. If you continue to set goals in a way that isn’t working then you will continue to fail. Forgive yourself for not sticking with New Year’s resolutions until now and know that if you set goals properly you can achieve them.


5. Your new goals and intentions do not take into account existing practices and commitments. For example, if you want more of a life balance then you need to consider what you want to give up or change and understand what that means for you. If you want to reduce your To Do list then consider how you will manage your priorities more effectively in future. Read Fast Company’s 5 tips on making your To Do lists more effective and get off to a running start!

I’m sure that you will recognise some of these challenges. Do you feel committed to doing things differently this year?

If so, these articles will help you to set goals more effectively in 2016 and achieve your dream life.

The Journal Life team wish you a very happy, healthy and purposeful 2016 and look forward to supporting you every step of the way!

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