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7 reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail

By Rania Sa’adi , Family Flavours - Jan 29,2023 - Last updated at Jan 29,2023

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Rania Sa’adi
Licensed Rapid Transformational Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist


Every year more than 50 per cent of people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, work out, save money, get a promotion and more. And yet, studies indicate that around 80 per cent of New Year’s resolutions will get abandoned around February. Here are seven reasons why!


Goals are not aligned with your values


Values are the most important thing in life. They are the driving force behind why we get up in the morning, the choices we make and why we behave the way we do. For example, the value behind reading is learning, the value behind exercising is health and so on.

Understanding exactly what is it that you value is the perfect starting point for understanding yourself and your motivators.

Why values matter: 

•Your decisions will be more aligned to what’s important to you when you prioritise as you make decisions

•By understanding your values, your life will be more fulfilling and balanced with meaning. This will lead to you becoming more genuine and truer to yourself, since what you think, say or do will be aligned

•Understanding your values gives you the WHY behind your goal, and therefore keeps you motivated in achieving it


You are too focused on what you DON’T want


The subconscious does not understand negation. Most people know what they don’t want and send out the message to the subconscious in that form.

Directing your thoughts towards the things you wish to achieve and NOT what you want to get away from, engages the subconscious more effectively.

This is how you should be talking to yourself: “I don’t want to be fat,” becomes” I want to be a size 6.” We should focus on: “I want to be healthy and fit.”


Your goals are too vague


Not only do your goals need to be positively stated, but they also need to be very specific.

For example, instead of saying you wish to get fit, a more specific goal might be “I will get fit enough to run the marathon.”

We also need to think about how we measure progress. In the previous example, the ultimate measure would be the exact weight you are aiming for.


Goals are unachievable or unrealistic


The goal(s) you are trying to achieve needs to be achievable within the timeline you have set for yourself. If your goal is not achievable in the time you have allocated, then either your timeline needs to change, or your goal needs to change.

A specific timeline needs to be set in order to keep you on track and direct your thoughts and brain to achieving that goal accordingly.

Trying alone


So many people try to achieve their goals on their own. This causes numerous challenges. Firstly, you have no-one around to help motivate you when things get tough.

Secondly, it’s a lot easier to give up when the only person you are letting down is yourself. When other people are aware of your goals (such as family and friends) you are less likely to give up as you don’t want to disappoint them. Setting a New Year Resolution is a promise to yourself and when you share your goals with others, you are making a commitment to them too. Especially if you know that they are going to check on your progress.


You are NOT emotionally attached to your goal


Your mind brings you closer to pleasure and keeps you away from pain.

You have a far greater chance of achieving your goals when they have real meaning for you. You have to understand why you want to achieve a certain goal. 

What will achieving it mean to you? You should feel a strong pull towards a successful outcome. If achieving it doesn’t mean anything to you, neither will not achieving it and you are far more likely to fail in achieving that goal.

You don’t have a backup plan


It is inevitable that you will hit barriers and obstacles as you progress toward your goals. Sadly, many people allow the first hurdle they hit to become their last and they give up on trying to achieve their goal. Creating a backup plan foreseeing the events or mishaps will prevent you from quitting when they happen. 

So, when you make your New Year’s resolutions for 2023, ensure to set smart goals that are doable and time-bound. Come February it will be smooth sailing for you! 


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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