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Why resolutions fail and how to make them work this year

A new year is an exciting time of renewal, change, and moving forward. Many of us will take the time to write down our new year resolutions in hopes that we will finally follow through this time. According to Business Insider, 80% of our resolutions will fail or be discontinued by February. We make them with the best intentions, but then fall short year after year. There are a few reasons why this occurs:

You don’t make a plan “A goal without a plan is just a dream”

Resolutions are essentially goals, and the likeliness of success for any goal is to make sure you have it planned out. It is a good idea to have smaller steps to help you progress through your timeline with an end goal in mind. Your resolutions will need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It is easy to remember this by using the acronym “SMART”. The more vague your goal is, the less likely you will achieve it.

You don’t actually want to do it.

Often times we make resolutions that we think we NEED to do versus what we actually WANT to do. I would recommend letting go of expectations others have for you and work on identifying what you really want for yourself. You may be pressured to joining the 2019 diet fad because everyone else is doing it or because of cultural expectations. Instead of trying to change your body, try setting a resolution to love yourself where you are at. The more compassion and self-love you have, the more likely you will trust your body and what it needs (look up intuitive eating if you are curious about this kind of view).

Your goal is unrealistic

Make sure your goal is something that can be achieved. For example, if you want to have a specific amount in savings, make sure you can do this within the boundary of your current income and living situation. There are certain expenses that you need to survive, plus there are emergencies that come up. Make sure you are choosing numbers and expectations that fit you and your needs. Don't let what everyone else is doing influence your personal changes.

You have too many goals and expectations

Keep your goals and plans simple. If you have too many then you will likely fail all of them. You are more likely to have success if you put your effort into one or two goals versus ten goals. Trying to do everything at once creates a lot of expectations and emotional labor. If you achieve your goal earlier in the year, then start working on a new one.

You are only making goals at the new year

We often get stuck on this idea that if we don’t do it at the beginning of the year then we will just wait until the next year. Goals and resolutions can be made anywhere at anytime. If you get to the summer and want to start, then great! We often set ‘mind traps’ for ourselves when we limit when, where, and how we are going to start working on personal growth. Give yourself to make resolutions when you are ready for them.

In conclusion, make your goals simple, have a plan, and do something that you want to do!

Thank you for reading!

-Kylie Chaffin, Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

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