Why New Year Resolution Are A Problem rather than a Solution

This year I am going to:

  • Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
  • Get a Promotion
  • Lose 8 stone

New Year’s resolutions are more often than not (for a lot of us), a failure. According to researchers, the first two weeks of January are resolution feel good time; however by week three most of us are slipping and sliding; with many back to square one by March. Why?



Unrealistic New Year Resolution Rules

For example my aforementioned resolutions are simply unrealistic, and though they may seem overtly so, many people’s more sedate resolutions are almost as impractical . They might not even be in alignment with their internal view. It’s not possible to positively reaffirm resolutions that you know deep down are going to be impossible to hit. This means it is impossible to keep these resolutions and even setting them can be damaging to your self-esteem.

Unrealistic Expectations

Sometimes people believe that if they lose weight or sort out money worries that their lives will become all the more fulfilled or even entirely changed for the better. This is seldom the case. Imagine yourself at your goal weight – really imagine it. Do you think you will love different people, do you think you will laugh at different things? Nope – neither do I. Losing weight wont fundamentally change who we are – it is not a panacea for all ills. Sometimes this realisation creates a ‘why bother’ attitude and people revert back to their old ways.

People don’t want to Change

Many people come up with resolutions without thinking of the full implication on their lifestyle. Most don’t consider the root of the problem or the bad habits that create the problem in the first case. This makes for a fundamental flaw in changing their ways and in turn creates a high rate of failure.

How to Change

I know I have just given resolutions a bit of a bashing; it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips to make them work:

  • Focus on one resolution
  • Be specific about resolutions. Deciding to lose weight is too loose of a goal; losing seven pounds in two months is not.
  • Small steps are central to success. Plan your goal into smaller steps and you’ll be likely to reach the overall goal.
  • When you do reach milestones – celebrate – each one is a success in itself.
  • Focus on new behaviours. You have to create new thought patterns to change a habit. Changing habits is about trying new things and not ‘not trying to do’ old things.
  • Remain in the present – there is always something you can do right now towards meeting your goal.
  • Have someone you can report your success and failures to. This interest increases your chances of success.
  • Learn to laugh – you will slip, you will fall and you will have setbacks. However, don’t take yourself too seriously or get too down. Remember, the mark of success is not how few times you fall down; it’s the number of times you get back up.


Victoria Wills (Founder of NuBeginnings)

Read more about Victoria here.