The #newyearnewme tagline was more abundant than ever over the past few weeks. The harsh reality is that only 8% of the people who make resolutions will keep them with almost 40% failing prior to the first month. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327/entry_7858/
Why Are Resolutions So Hard To Keep?
With statistics so bleak, one might wonder why people still bother making resolutions. The concept isn’t a bad one. For many, the significance of the new year is meaningful. After a year marked with more downs than ups, some find comfort in compartmentalizing the rough times into a mental suitcase, if you will, labeled with the corresponding digits and packing it away in storage—or trying to toss it all together. If it helps you to move forward with hope and determination, I say more power to you!
So, with the dawn of a new year, over 60% of Americans admit to creating resolutions to change their lives in hopes of creating better ones. Nearly 50% commit to self-improvement, almost 40% to health- related goals, 38% to money related goals, and 31% to relationship goals. All of these are admirable goals. And we all know people who have achieved them. So why the high failure rates?
Getting to the Root of the Issue
What many resolution makers neglect to look at are the “why’s?” A goal without a plan is just a wish, so the saying goes. Part of the planning process involves looking at the reasons for the failure in the first place. Without understanding the “why?”, we are almost certain to repeat it.
Let’s take a look at an issue that clients frequently seek my assistance with–relationship goals. After a string of failed relationships and a brutal breakup in December, Cindy decides, “I’m over this crap. I want to have better relationships in 2019.” Cindy vows with the coming year to have relationships that she can be proud of. She deletes her dating profile on Tinder and makes a new one on Bumble. She adds new photos and rewords her bio. She decides to try different venues hoping to meet different people. After a few weeks, her hope starts to fizzle as she encounters the same relationship situations as before.
Nothing has changed because Cindy’s still attracting and choosing the same type of men in her relationships. She wants something better, yet she hasn’t delved into the reasons why she chooses the way she does. The “why?” is the tough part and often involves some uncomfortable introspection. By facing the “why?”, we can start to get real. The “why?” facilitates creating a plan that has a probability of success.
Seeking Out Guidance
Why are you overeating? Over-drinking? Overspending? Overworking? Under-performing? Keeping the wrong people in your life and pushing the right ones away? Recognizing the issue and admitting that it’s a problem is HUGE and certainly critical to making a change. The next step involves creating a solid plan that’s customized for YOU. This plan must be geared toward understanding your experiences and how they’ve shaped your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.
It’s no secret that successful people seek expert guidance in achieving their goals. A professional counselor or coach can have a huge impact on your goals becoming a reality. While some goals are seemingly simple to achieve, like going to bed earlier, others are more complex, like Cindy’s scenario above.
Had Cindy understood the impact her lonely and painful youth had on her template for an ideal partner—and other lifestyle choices– she may have better understood what she needed to work through to achieve her goal. She would have been able to create a solid plan that included the steps necessary to make real and permanent change.
Surround Yourself With People Who Support You
Now’s a good time to examine your circle. You know, the people who you’re around most of the time. Since one bad apple can spoil the bunch, you’ve got to be choosy in who you’re spending your time talking to and socializing with. If you’re trying to change a behavior, hanging around a friend who constantly practices that behavior is going to make it harder for you. People who are super negative can be an energy zapper, too.
Crazy as it might sound, there are some people that might not be too excited about your resolution to change. That person, or group of people, might be risk losing something by your change thus discouraging it. For instance, if you decide that you’re going to the gym after work each day instead of going to happy hour with your co-worker and then driving him home after, he might be reluctant to encourage your new plan.
Your circle has a great deal of influence on you, so choose wisely. Your close friends can be an amazing source of support for you if they have your best interest at heart.
Creating a Plan that Works
Now that you’ve done the digging to seek out the “why?”, you’re ready to start developing a plan.
For guidance in streamlining the process, you’re welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free initial consultation.
Cheers to YOU in 2019!!!