Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Are Guaranteed to Fail

Nearly all of us make the same mistake when it comes to New Yearís resolutions, one that practically guarantees weíll fail miserably. Sadly, itís not just New Yearís resolutions that we blow. Anytime we try to change our behavior, we make the same disastrous mistake. No mas! In the next two minutes, youíll learn a strategy that you can use to reach any goal or to change any habit. Even the biggest goals, like stopping smoking and getting out of debt, are achievable with this approach.

So, whatís this huge mistake we make when we set goals or try to change a bad habit? We expect to succeed. We have no contingency plan when we fail. When we inevitably come up short — the stats are bleak when it comes to sticking with New Yearís resolutions — we have nothing to do but revert to our old behavior. ďOh well, I lasted three days longer than last year!Ē youíll start to hear this week.

Your biggest goals require the biggest changes, the greatest commitments, the most effort and willpower. Those pounds arenít going to lose themselves; your debt isnít going away on its own; and the business you want to run isnít going to start itself. These are massive undertakings that require a great deal of personal fortitude. The effort required to succeed can seem overwhelming, so much so that you might relent. You ditch your diet and eat the brownie. You forgo your budget and buy the shoes. You talk yourself out of business ownership and turn on the TV.

The good news is that one misstep doesnít have to derail you if you use the†One Day, One Week, One Month Strategy. Iíve used this same approach to create radical change in my life and Iíve shown others how to use it effectively. Hereís what you do:

One Day
It doesnít matter that the book you want to write will take you two years and lots of late nights to complete. It doesnít matter that the 50 pounds you need to lose will take 12 months of sweat and sacrifice to drop. The hard work? The long hours? None of it matters. The only thing you should focus on is one day. Thatís it. Surely you can stick to a diet for one day, right? Of course you can follow your budget for one day. Itís just one day. Get over your excuses. Get over the anxiety. You can do anything for a day.

One Week
If you survive the first day ó and you will ó all you need to do is focus on surviving six more days. Thatís it. You can do anything for a week, and youíve already made it through the first day.

One Month
Congratulations! You made it a week. The desire to revert back to old behaviors is strong, but youíve already gone a whole week. Whatís another couple of weeks to make it a month? If at the end of the month you decide itís not worth it, tell yourself youíll stop, but give yourself a month.

What happens if you falter? As the old saying goes, if you fall down one step, donít throw yourself down the whole staircase. If on day four you completely blow it, you simply start over. The next morning, you only focus on getting through one day. Then you take another shot at getting through a week, and you will because it will be much easier the second time. If on week three you crack. No problem. The next morning you simply focus on getting through one day. Then one week. Then take another run at one month. You can do this over and over and over again until you succeed.

And when it comes to New Yearís resolutions, you just may need to try a few times before you succeed.

Read: Are You a Loser if You Don’t Set New Year’s Resolutions?

(Fireworks image by†Horia Varlan,†CC 2.0)

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Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

I don't refer to them as New Years Resolutions. They are life choices to make to become a better and healthier person. Does it matter if you start it January 1 or July 5? No. Fell off the resolutionary bike? Just make that decision for a better you and get back on, and it's okay to start on your birthday.

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

The only New Years resolution I make is to not make any. Actions speak louder than words.

Deborah D.
Deborah D6 years ago

I can never keep my new years' resolutions,
so this year my resolution is to not keep my
resolutions :)

Pradip Chavda
Pradip Chavda6 years ago

That is the reason why people make resolutions every year. Try and try and try again, who knows when success is on the way. ;-)

Chad A.
Chad A6 years ago

I teach action plans at least twice a year and the key elements that my students falter on are realism and inattention to sustainable motivation. Setting mini goals and rewarding yourself are things that help people pull through, whether for a day or a week or a month!

Leena K.
Leena K6 years ago

I did not make any resolutions but these are good tips, thanks.

Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti6 years ago

Good tips. Thanks.

Patricia A.
Patricia A6 years ago

I made a New Year's resolution many years ago, and I've kept it. I don't make resolutions at any particular time. I just try to improve when I can and hope that I'm always doing the right thing. Life is too short to constantly set oneself up for failure.

Betty C.
Betty C6 years ago

Good advise. We humans mostly set ourselves up to fail, as we bite of more than we can chew at once. Baby steps seems to work for me.

Dianna M.
Dianna M6 years ago

My New Year's resolution is to make no New Year's resolutions.

. . . Crap! I've already blown it!