Every year, thousands of people all over Australia come up with hopeful New Year resolutions, which are aimed at personal growth and betterment. According to an ongoing online poll conducted by “The Western Australia”, around 50% of the people who responded have already made New Year resolutions for the coming year. Yet, most of us are not able to keep up with our resolutions as the New Year starts rolling.
The question is: Why do most of our new year’s resolutions meet the fate of failure? This question seems to be embedded in the mind’s of every hopeful individual counting desperately for this year’s resolutions to miraculously work out. The reason why resolutions often don’t work is due to lack of planning, commitment and motivation further impacted by the formation of unrealistic goals on our part.
Most resolutions we make require behavioural changes. Another poll conducted by General Nutrition Centres shed light on an interesting psyche prevalent, for the result stated that 50% of Australians aim to spend more time with their loved ones. Similarly, 55% of Australians hope to lose weight by the end of the New Year. Goals such as these cannot be achieved overnight; rather they require behaviour modifications that can only be incorporated in a person over time.
Counsellor Tara Diversi shares, “We are not always in control of the final outcome; we are in control of the behaviour”. When asked to comment on step-by-step approach towards achieving goals, she further says, “I like to get my clients to use a laddering pyramid approach with up to 12 steps to the final outcome. The final result may be achieved, but to get there, they fill in small behaviour changes. When they master one level of the pyramid, they can move to the next”.
Most New Year changes are planned without making any effort to conduct a self-background search, making oneself victims of setting unrealistic goals. Consequently, when we find ourselves nowhere near our goals, we give them up altogether. Knowing your weaknesses and strengths is very important to strengthen the likelihood of keeping your resolutions. Knowing yourself is the key to unlocking the secrets to keeping resolutions.
For instance, attempting to give up a 20-year old drinking habit is an unrealistic New Year resolution, which cannot be achieved without the help of professional counselling. Keeping resolutions to oneself also contributes to failure, as the only person who monitors your progress is you. Sharing resolutions with family and friends helps keep you accountable, since you are answerable to more people in case you fail at achieving your set targets.
Failure to note down one’s New Year resolutions in an organised list is also a key contributor to this inability of keeping working resolutions. Writing down resolutions and keeping them in within sight helps you keep your focus. While writing down resolutions, you can associate varying motivation factors, in the form of incentives, in order to beam the spotlight on them as time passes. Justin Guest, who is the director of Babes on the Run stated, “List the major benefit of the change. This is what you will need to keep front of mind to motivate you through the change. You wouldn’t be setting out to change if your current situation was fine and the new situation offered nothing better”.
Failed resolutions are self-inflicted. Unless there is a strong desire on your part to really make the resolution work, there is a hard chance you will get anything positive out of them.
Are you worried you won’t keep your New Year resolutions? Share your tips for making changes and keeping them on track.