Why New Year's Resolutions Fail (& What to Do Instead!)
"New year, new you!" This concept may be all too familiar at the start of the New Year. While making goals helps craft a healthier and happier new you, do New Year's resolutions actually work?
"New year, new you!" This concept of a fresh start may be all too familiar at the start of the New Year, along with millions of others.
Embracing new challenges and goals is commendable to craft a healthier and happier new you! However, it is often foreseen to not have the resolution come next year, even if they are commonly shared.
Find out the most common New Year's resolutions, how long they often last, and just why you might rethink making one this year.
10 Most Common New Year's Resolutions
As reported by Statistica, the top 2021 New Year's Resolutions include:
1. Doing more exercise or improving my fitness - 50%
2. Losing weight - 48%
3. Saving more money - 44%
4. Improving my diet - 39%
5. Pursuing a career ambition - 21%
6. Spending more time with my family - 18%
7. Taking up a new hobby - 14%
8. Something else - 14%
9. Spending less time on social media - 13%
10. Giving up smoking - 10%
Making such a New Year's resolution is admirable, but not so fast…
Flashback to 2020, Inc. reported the top 2020 resolution was actually going their new year’s resolution. Does this prove a point of shallow followthrough?
While about 60 percent admit making New Year's resolutions, only about 8 percent are successful in achieving them. And if you are wondering how long New Year's resolutions last, FSU News reports 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week of February.
The stats are not meant to be discouraging but rather put their faults into perspective.
3 Reasons Why New Year's Resolutions Fail
These three reasons why New Year's resolution's fail help rationalize why most goals fall short.
1. New Year's resolutions are often forced.
With close friends and family verifying a New Year's resolution, you may seem forced or persuaded to do the same. And though a support system often accelerates success, it is important to also tackle goals on your own terms.
Forced, artificial obligations are more likely to extinguish if the natural motivation is not evident and apparent.
2. New Year's resolutions tend to be lofty.
While it is necessary to exhibit excitement to tackle goals, you may have bitten off too much, too soon. The obsessive motivation may be displayed within the first few weeks, but only to diminish once the excitement has died down.
For the most success, it is imperative to keep motivation consistent and stable.
3. New Year's resolutions are commonly based on unrealistic expectations.
Not a runner but all of a sudden wanting to tackle a complete marathon? While this loft goal is admirable, it is truly imperative to stay realistic.
Lofty expectations may leave you overwhelmed, only to lead to long-term discouragement.
6 Reasons to Start New Year's Resolutions Now
While a new year seems ideal for a new start, there is no perfect time than in the now to create and stick to resolutions and goals. Here are 6 convincing reasons why you should stop procrastinating with goals and ought to start now!
1. There is never a better time than now.
What inadvertently designated January 1st as a time to set resolutions dates back centuries ago. According to History, New Year's Resolutions became a "thing" thanks to the ancient Babylonians.
But rather than celebrating New Year's as we know it today, their celebration began in mid-March when new crops were planted. So really, there is no definitive reason why we turn to the New Year to create personal resolutions.
The best time to start is now, as waiting to feel more confident and comfortable is all relative. Jumping into unfamiliar territory may be unnerving, though there is no better time to take the first step!
2. You can make major headway between now and the new year.
Bad habits take time to break while good ones take time to build, so why wait another minute? Getting ahead of the game can make some major headway towards a new goal and who does not like a head start?
Besides, people regularly use the holidays as an excuse to overindulge. "Oh, I'm starting my weight loss plan at the start of the new year, anyway, what is another plate of food?" Or, "Merry Christmas to me!" after purchasing the newest and largest television screen.
This is not to say one cannot still enjoy favorite seasonal foods and treat themselves to new toys over the holidays. What it does mean, though, is that having intended and structured goals can influence positive choices.
3. Reduce stress levels that can come with making resolutions and change.
Whether it be to lose weight or learn something new, there can be anticipation and innate pressure built around resolutions. And procrastinating to start on them can lead to stress and anxiety around the goal and anticipated change.
While some may thrive on this pressure, others may not do so. By starting now, you can relieve some of this stress and propel towards your goals with stride.
4. Motivation may take a hit around and following the holidays.
The holidays are often filled with love, joy, and overall excitement, though not all experience these positive feelings. Some may experience the so-called "holiday blues" and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Many factors can cause the holiday blues, including unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and changes in tradition. SAD, also known as seasonal depression, tends to occur in the fall and winter months when daylight grows shorter.
Experiencing either or both can really take a toll on mood and motivation and zap any energy to make positive changes. The utmost success often lies between consistent and stable motivation, which may be found at this very moment.
5. Your now = your goal.
With close friends and family creating New Year's resolutions, you may feel forced or persuaded to do the same. Whereas a support system frequently accelerates success, it is important to also tackle goals on your own terms.
Forced, artificial obligations are more likely to extinguish if the natural motivation is not evident and apparent. All in all, the best New Year’s resolution is the one you want for yourself.
6. You are more likely to make a realistic goal.
It is all too common to get overzealous when making New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, although big goals are admirable, they can leave you overwhelmed and discouraged and quickly backfire.
As most are quick to jump the gun at New Year's, starting now can lead to more realistic goals for the short-term and in the long run. Sitting down and spending time to rationalize thoughts helps transpire into well-constructed goals and foreseeable action.