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Why New Year's Resolutions Fail

Posted by CounselingWise

When December rolls around, we are inundated with commercials for gyms and eating healthier. At every turn, we get the question, “What is your new year’s resolution?” And so we all give the basic same answers. Go to the gym more! Lose weight! Eat better! Start a new hobby! Sound familiar?

So with the best of intentions, we begin the new year full of hope. “This. This is going to be the year when I do it. I will set my goals and then some!”

It goes strong, for awhile. We are dedicated and determined to crush the goals. And then…it tapers off. Our best of intentions end up turning into excuses. Well-meaning excuses, but they are all the same. “I’m too busy this week. I’ll get back it next week.” “This week was rough, I don’t have the bandwidth for this right now.”

Then the weeks turn into months and next thing we know, our goals are basically forgotten. Which makes us wonder, why do new year’s resolutions fail?

Setting Unrealistic Resolutions

One of the top reasons why these goals tend to fail is that they are often unrealistic. You have the best intention setting them. “I’m going to lose 30 pounds by summer!” Who wouldn’t want to achieve that?

But all too often, these goals aren’t the most realistic. We aren’t saying they can’t be done. But, are they actually realistic with your life? Will you be able to dedicate enough time to go to the gym, plan healthy meals, and raise your family?

Setting unrealistic goals that don’t fit with your time constraints or resources is often cited as the biggest reason why they fail.

Pro tip: Make realistic goals. Instead of that one big lofty goal, set smaller ones. “I want to lose 5 pounds in 1 month,” might be a better place to start then work your way up to that other goal.

Not Knowing Where To Start

As mentioned above, setting smaller goals is a great way to start with any resolution. Too often, our goals fail because we try to create one big lofty goal but then feel stuck on how to actually achieving that.

When you give yourself baby steps to complete, you will find that you are staying more motivated as you reach each milestone. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. When you approach your resolutions with this type of mentality, you will find that reaching that bigger goal is much easier.


Every year we set goals for ourselves, but when they fail we are left wondering what is wrong with us.

Self-doubt is something that we all grapple with, no matter the time of year. However, when you repeatedly try to make the same goals, only to have them fail your self-doubt is worsened. We are often our own greatest enemies and self-doubt is the biggest of them all. We let our past failures get in the way, causing us to think, “It won’t be different this time.”

We’re all human and we are going to slip up every once in awhile. Nobody is perfect and setting goals isn’t either. It won’t always go smooth or as planned, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are failing.

Are you ready to identify the roadblocks that are in your way from reaching your goals? If so, connect with me so I can help you find sustainable ways to reach the personal goals you are setting for yourself.



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