Do you believe in new year’s resolution?
I can guess your answer.
So, very few people still believe in having a new year resolution, although the struggle to follow through with them is excruciatingly painful, and in some cases they never get to achieve all of the goals they set. But majority are done with this ‘nonsense’. Many are no longer convinced in the magic they once believed it had. I mean, what’s the point of having new year resolutions if halfway through the first month or even before half of the first month, all we have resolved, everything comes crashing down, and we find ourselves reverting back to the same old pattern we are so desperate to break or improve on. Most people now believe that making new year resolutions is a nice way to set themselves up for failure because no one actually ever go through with the plan, so instead, they have decided to take life as it comes, waiting for opportunities to explode any which way.
But this is a terrible way of living.
Many people, due to their inability to keep up with targets they have previously set for themselves have now unconsciously chosen to surrender their will to fate and hope it does them fair by bring a miracle along their way.
Some have decided to take whatever life gives them with the hope of making something good out of it later in the year. For instance, many people wants to lose weight, so they go subscribe to a gym at the beginning of the year, or some wants to write a novel, start a video channel or do something creative, so they take the first step as a sign of commitment to the cause, but then after a while they skip one week, two weeks, 3 weeks and then they unconsciously pack up everything into a box and begin to lament themselves being a failure.
Some will even try to get back on track, but the struggle becomes too tedious to bear, and all those teachings on resilience, determination and whatever fades away because at this point, their will to continue is depleted. I mean, this is sad, and people are tired of the constant struggle of having to live like a failure when they don’t achieve what they desire, so instead, they let life happen to them. But then again, this is a terrible way to live.
To live your life based on chances, to live your life based on fate, to live your life based on the hope that life deals you a fair hand at some point, is the most terrifying way to live. To surrender your will to decide for yourself and the will to achieve what you want is not the solution to the problem.
So should we continue struggling to get what we dream? Should we continue to feel like a failure in our pursuit for our goals? The answer is no.
I know a lot will say, I just focus on being a better person and not to necessarily set my hopes to high for fail because it is easier said than done, but really, this is also not the answer.
All our lives we have been struggling to make resolutions and stick to them, yet nothing has worked. All our lives we have applied all the teachings we have gotten from brilliant teachers on how to succeed, yet nothing seems to fall into place. All our lives we have set goals, we have resolved to chase our passion, we have even worked on our attitude and drink lots of water, yet we keep falling back to the same pattern. It is time of a change.
Three years ago, I began a research on why people fail to stick to the new year resolutions they make at the beginning of the year. Mind you, I also have been a student of this failed experiment. I have made countless resolutions, and I can count on one hand how many i have fulfilled. But then again, I have seen only a few who have succeeded over time how to make resolutions and make them work. I hated that I wasn’t one of them, so I decided to find out why my new year resolutions always fail.
In all my years of research, I have come to know that there are 7 fundamental reasons why your new year resolutions will fail over and over again. If you realise that any of these 7 reasons are in your life, believe me, you have already lost the fight before you even begin. This is no joke.
These 7 reasons will show you why your ‘WILL’ to succeed will fail you.
Forget all the motivational advice you have gotten on determination, perseverance, hard work and attitude for now, because they only increases the chances of you seeing yourself as a victim when you struggle to get what you want.
Forget about your will to succeed, if any of these reasons are in your life, you will continue to struggle and continue to fail.
Before we look at the reasons why your new year resolutions will fail, you need to know this. It is absolutely foolishness and real stupidity to make new year resolutions at the beginning of the new year. Yes, you read this very well. It is foolishness, maddening and crazy to decide what you want for the year at the beginning of the year. For Christ sake, you don’t decide to finish a race or win a race when you are at the starting line. Who does that? Your desired outcome for the race should be etched into your mind months before the day of the race. The day of the race is just for one thing, execution. So likewise your goals for the new year. It is stupidity to start planning for the new year on the first day of the year. When will you have time to start executing?
Think of it. If you want to have a different year, start planning for it 2 to 3 months before the year starts. I really don’t understand why people do this. In my 3 years of research on why new year resolutions fail, I found out this is the most significant factor for why people don’t even execute their plan for the year or even stop trying. So if you want to have a different year, make the plans 3 months before the start of the year. This way when the new year comes, all you have to do is EXECUTE.
Now let’s see the fundamental reasons why your new year resolutions will again.
- Most people don’t know exactly what they want, hence there is an internal conflict of interest. I have heard people say, “I don’t know what I want, although I would like if this comes or that comes…” Sometimes in our bid to discover ourselves, we are left with the hard choice to decide what works best for us. Many people are paralyzed by the paradox of choice in the sense that there are so many options in front of them to choose from, but are scared to making a decision that may turn out to be less favorable or less satisfying than another. We want the best of the best, but we are plagued with the feeling that we may not be entirely satisfied with the outcome of whatever decision we make. So we want a bit of everything at the same time or we wish we had the power to see the end of our decisions whether we will turn out okay or not. Guess what, you don’t have the power to do that. This is the beautiful thing about life, it is uncertain. So stop trying to decide the outcome of a process. You have no business doing that. All you have to do is to get clarity on what you want. The worst thing that can happen to a man is for him to lose clarity on what he wants or where he is going. That’s the worst thing. When you don’t know exactly what you want, you go no further than your nose. So get clarity.
- Most people don’t know why they want what they want, hence their desire (why factor) is not strong enough to make them see it through. Let me ask a simple question, why do you want to do that thing? That goal you want to achieve, that weight you want to lose, that degree you want to get, that money you want to have, why do you want to have it? This is one fundamental reason why people don’t get to go through with the new year resolutions. What is your reason for this? Your reason or reasons will determine how far you are willing to go to make it happen. Your reason will tell how high the stakes are placed, and what you risk losing if you fail. Let me just give you a clear path to know if your stakes are or low. If the end reason or reasons for why you want what you want is for your personal gratification, your stakes are low, in fact very low, and I can guarantee you that it won’t take so long for you to become complacent and develop a victim mentality. Individualism creates a sense of entitlement which leads to having a victim mentality when you don’t get what you want. But if your end reason is for the betterment of those around you or the entire world, you will realise that many lives will sink if you don’t succeed. You realise that your life takes a whole different meaning, and you are constantly choosing to be better so that you can offer more value to those around you. You find this constant joy in expressing what you have inside you. You look at people as collaborators not competitors, and you are always asking, who can I team up with to make this work? Let’s stop this senseless pursuit of personal happiness because we will never truly be happy living for ourselves. Okay, let me stop here because I have more on this on a new topic I have been researching on, Why you never be happy. In all, have a strong reason for why you want what you want.
- You haven’t invested in yourself. Do you know that the biggest investment you will ever make is the one you make on yourself? I am not talking about material properties, I am talking about intellectual investments. I want you to honestly ask yourself, thoes resolutions you made over the years, did you have the skills to make them real? Be honest with yourself. Have you properly set yourself you for success or are you just hoping for a miracle? It is not enough to say you want to write a novel in a year, do you have the skill to do it? Have you sat down to read the works of those ahead in your field? Have you learned the art of writing in the style you want to use? Are you the right person to write that novel? Or your resolution is to launch a business, honestly ask yourself, do I have the skill to run this business? Have I done my research? Have I figured out how to get leads? Do I have business plan or model? What is my contingency plan? Seriously, if you haven’t invested in yourself or your dreams, you have lost the fight way before you choose a weapon for combat. Whenever I speak with people, I always ask, do you have the skill for what you want? Or do you want to mess it up? Please, spend time in investing in a skill, and then convert that skill into source of energy to fuel for resolutions.
- You don’t have a timeline. This is one of the worst reasons why your resolutions will sink in a blink. Firstly, if you don’t have specifics, you will play aimlessly. Secondly, if you don’t have a timeline or fixed deadlines, you will give in to procrastination and complacency. Yes, we all have results we want to see at the end of the year, but if you want to those results to ever see the light of day, you have to break those goals into quarterly targets, monthly targets, weekly targets and daily targets. See, it’s so hard to remain encouraged when it feels like you are not making any progress. When you are overly concerned about the results, you lose sight on the little achievements and progress you make along the way. A proverb says, little drops of water makes a mighty ocean, and you don’t focus on those little water drops, you get worried that the ocean is taking forever to form. Then discouragement sets in and your attitude takes a dip. But when you set a timeline to achieve a certain target, it conditions your mind to focus on getting what’s in front of you as quickly as you can. The confidence that comes from achieving a target before the deadline can be transferred into another task. Hence success breeds confidence, not the other way around. If you don’t set deadlines and create a timeline for when you want to do certain things, you lose the power of urgency. You lose the power to track your progress and pace, and how effective you are in measuring to your resolutions.
- You haven’t made it public. Now this is one interesting thing I have come to realise. The most successful people in the world always announce what they want to do to the public, and then they back to make sure they don’t fail on their word. Very interesting. You hear some say, by 2020 we are going to do this or that. Even in the movie industry, you hear them announce a project, let’s say The Mystery of Mrs. Hall, and then they announce a release date even when they haven’t even began casting. You wonder why would they do this? This is the reason, putting it out there signifies intentions, signifies raising the stakes so high for failure or success, and in a way allowing the public to hold them responsible or accountable. Now I am not saying you should announce your goals to the world, what I am saying is that you should find a way to put it out there in the face of criticisms and critics, so that you know you have no other choice than to go back and work your ass off on those resolutions. Making public what you want to achieve in the face of critics can actually be a fuel for you to succeed, if you know how to use it.
- You have no one to hold you accountable, therefore you have no feedback loop. Okay, if having no timeline was one of the worst reasons why your new year resolutions will sink, this is the elderly bitchy sister. So many people have nobody to hold them accountable for their actions and inaction. When you don’t have a genuine accountability partner who will be there to demand your resolution progress, be it daily or weekly, you will realise so late that you had no chance of success in the first place. If no one can demand you to step up your game, then you are in trouble. This person doesn’t have to be a mentor or someone older than you. I once asked my younger sister, the last born in our family to always request from me a wrìte up everyday. My goal was to write 30 minutes everyday for 30 days, and when sometimes I fail to show up to that standard, she, being her savage self, would say, you failed today. Now I hated the feeling that comes with those words, so I made up my mind not to hear those words again. I decided to step up my game. What I realised at the end of the month was that I had completed 2 short stories and 14 poems. I was writing at an average of 1 hour 25 minutes everyday. That’s the power of having an accountability partner. Someone to hold you accountable for your activities towards your resolutions. What this does is that it creates a feedback system that informs you on how far you have come and what you are doing right. It’s so sad that many people are too big to be held accountable. Like said earlier, individualism creates a victim mentality in us. You can decide by sending 3 things you want to to achieve for the day or week that is in line with your resolution to someone who will be willing to work with you on this journey. And then you can watch yourself accomplish a lot at the end of the day or week. Find someone that will hold you accountable.
- You are in the wrong environment, you are in the wrong circle. See, if you have forgotten everything you have read so far, don’t forget this one. This is worst of them all. Dr. Marshal Goldsmith said, if you don’t create and control your environment, your environment will create and control you. This is just the simple truth. Believe me, you are a product of your environment. By environment here, I am talking about the circle you belong, the people you surround yourself with, the kind of information you consume, and everything around you. The reason why your resolutions go to shit is because the people around you are not pushing you to succeed. Some seeds don’t grow in some particular soils. There is something called the Pygmalion Effect which states that the expectations of those around you establishes your own rules and expectations. Simply put, the goals you set for yourself is a reflection of the goals of those around you. You can only go as far as those around you. If your environment doesn’t not demand you to succeed, you won’t go anywhere. It is not everywhere you plant rice that it will grow. Some souls can not germinate apples no matter what you do. You can see why you don’t keep up with your resolutions. It is because those around don’t inspire you to keep them. I want you to take a step back and consider those around you. Ask yourself, what are their resolutions? What are they aiming for? Are they those that can inspire and influence you to want to succeed? Or are they the ones that kill my vibe. Are they the right soil you need or what are they? I once created a distance between myself and a very close of mine just because anytime I brought an idea he kept saying it is not possible, that all I had to do was to find a way to survive, and I hate surviving. You have to get serious about this, do you want to tick good the boxes on your resolutions, then you may need to create a new circle. You may need to change those around you. You may need to change what you listen to. You may need to throw out the unhealthy food in your refrigerator. You may need to change the book you read. You may need to change your environment completely. Your environment shapes you into who you are whether you want to believe it or not. You are a product of the five people around you. So ask yourself, who is in my environment? Are they demanding me to succeed or are they putting me off? Are they demanding me to be responsible or complacent? Are they demanding me to work out or to eat unhealthy foods? Are they motivating me or killing my spirit? You have got to assess your environment. If your environment is not demanding you to be better, then there is absolutely nothing, I mean this in all emphasis, there is absolutely nothing you can do. You will continue to live like a failure and struggle with the will to succeed at your resolutions. One my favourite author, Benjamin Hardy focuses on this in the best selling book, Willpower Doesn’t Work. He said we struggle senselessly by depending solely on our willpower, thinking if we can push ourselves, set better goals and work on our attitude then everything will be better. We will forever remain where we are if we don’t create and control our environment. You have to sit and ask, what kind of soil am I planning my seeds in?
My very good friend, Choice said to me, resolutions are powerful and life changing in the minds and hands of deliberate, growth oriented and matured people. Don’t just say it for saying sake, be deliberate about it and do all you can to make this work.
So here you go. 7 fundamental reasons why your new year resolutions is bound to fail no matter what you do. If you realise anyone is in your life, it is not too late to make adjustments. You should realise this, your reality is not fixed. You are not a failure. You can always create a new reality. You can always make yourself valuable if you are willing to do what it takes.
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