Why most people have probably already broken their New Years’ resolutions

If you’ve ever wondered why so many people break their New Years’ Resolutions, and what you could do instead to achieve the kind of results you want in your life, then read on! According to The Guardian, 78% of the Resolutions fail (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/28/new-years-resolutions-doomed-failure). Based on my experiences as a coach and NLP Trainer since 1997, some key reasons for this include:

  • Setting unrealistic expectations about a specific resolution/goal
  • Setting too many goals/resolutions, and getting overwhelmed by the amount of change or perceived ‘work’.
  • Being motivated by ‘negative’ emotions like guilt and fear rather than by more positive ones such as desire and excitement
  • Wanting to want to change, rather than actually wanting to change
  • Not being mentally or emotionally ready to make the changes, for example being too scared or simply not having the actual ability to make the desired change
  • Having limiting beliefs about themselves, their capabilities and even the world around them. For example, a deep belief that their friends won’t like them if they become too healthy
  • Not having people around them who will truly support them in making the changes. For example, the jealous husband/wife who would feel threatened if their partner lost weight and became really fit, and hence possibly more attractive to other people.

And for those who do have the motivation and desire to keep their resolutions, why wait until January 1st to do something? If you want to make changes, just do it!

This article is a brief summary of an e-book on this topic, and there is a YouTube video that explains it too. Essentially, there are four important aspects to having what you want, summarised below. Each section in the e-book covers this in more detail.

1.  Taking stock of where you are. This will help you to be clear on how your life is, and which area(s) to focus on improving to make the biggest difference to you. Make a list of the 7-10 key areas of your life, such as work/career, health & fitness, personal relationships, finances/money, family, and rank your current level of satisfaction in each area. Are you happy with the scores? This typically takes 5-10 minutes.

2.  Finding your Values in each area of your life. Knowing what is important to you in each area of your life will give you greater self-awareness and help you to set a goal for each area that will help you to have more of what’s important to you i.e. your Values. Finding your Values typically takes 10-15 minutes for each of the 7-10 areas of life.

Why New Years resolutions dont work

More detailed information is available by downloading either Chapter 13 of Successful NLP or Chapter 14 of NLP for Business Success (both Amazon UK best-selling books) from our website, completely FREE.

3.  Set a goal for each area of your life. Set a goal that will mean you have more of your key Values in each area. This typically takes 15-30 minutes per goal. We have an e-book which explains how best to set achievable goals. The key points include making sure the goals are specific, measurable, that there are no negative consequences of achieving it, have a specific date, and that you believe they are achievable (has someone in a broadly similar situation to you done something like this?)

4.  Create your future from the future. In addition to setting goals, one way to help shape your future is to imagine going a certain period into the future (for example 5 years, 10 years), or to a certain point (for example, your 30th/40th/50th birthday, your retirement), and imagine having a great life.

  • What is happening?
  • What are some of the key steps you took?
  • What advice would you give that younger you?
Trophy of success

You can revisit this exercise any time you wish. At the very least, I would recommend you doing so annually, and also if there is a major event in your life such as the birth of a child, or a major job change. I do so each year around New Year. Even if you re-do the whole process from scratch, it will typically take 3-4 hours, and is an excellent use of your time.

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