3 reasons your new year’s resolutions haven’t worked out in the past

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

People on treadmills in gym, thinkstock photo

For most people, setting your new year’s resolution/s is a routine task and often those goals fizzle away within the first months, weeks or even days of the new year.

We wanted to find out why resolutions are easy to make, but hard to keep.  Here’s what we found:

You don’t establish the “Why”

Forbes columnist Liz Ryan says it’s all about identifying the “why.”

If we stopped to ask “Why are these new year’s resolutions important?” we would have to acknowledge that almost every new year’s resolution comes from the same place. It comes from the place of a critical parent telling a wayward kid,” she writes.

Ryan’s advice? Start by asking questions like “What do I want most in my life and career?” following it up with “What stands between me and the life and career I envision?”

In answering these questions, you start to identify a new power source, explains Ryan.  That bossy voice is replaced with a solid foundation. Click here to see more of those questions.

You go in with an “all or nothing mindset”

Not doing something just because you don’t have time to finish it can be a dangerous road for achieving your goals, explains author Kevin Kruse.  In his interview with Psychologist Dr. Paul Marciano, the doctor says that there’s a major difference between doing something over nothing.

“Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort,” Marciano said.

And despite what you’ve been taught your whole life, the ability to keep your resolutions isn’t about willpower, it’s about skills, strategies and patience, according to Dr. Marciano.

Click here to see Kruse’s full article “7 Secrets of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions”

You make a list with multiple resolutions

Psychologist Ian Newby-Clark said that since people don’t have endless willpower, it’s helpful to focus on one change at a time, according to Sarah Mahoney’s report in Good Housekeeping. 

Achieving your resolutions will require behavior changes, calling for you to devote “attention and vigilance” to your goals.

“Thinking through these substrategies boosts success rates,” Newby-Clark said.