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Unrealistic Expectations

One of the primary reasons resolutions meet an untimely demise is the tendency to set unrealistic expectations. Many individuals, fueled by the energy of a new beginning, aim for sweeping transformations overnight. Whether it's shedding a substantial amount of weight, quitting a long-standing habit, or achieving professional milestones, the lofty nature of these goals often leads to frustration and discouragement.

Instead of setting unattainable objectives, it's crucial to break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. This not only makes the journey less overwhelming but also provides a sense of achievement at every step.

Lack of Specificity and Planning

Vague resolutions like "get in shape" or "save more money" lack the specificity and actionable steps needed for success. Without a clear plan, individuals may find themselves lost in the vastness of their aspirations, leading to a loss of motivation and focus.

To increase the chances of success, resolutions should be well-defined and accompanied by a detailed plan of action. Specificity not only helps in tracking progress but also enables individuals to make adjustments when necessary.

Absence of Accountability

The absence of a support system or accountability often contributes to the downfall of resolutions. When individuals keep their goals private, there is a lack of external motivation and encouragement. Sharing resolutions with friends, and family, or joining communities with similar objectives can create a sense of responsibility and camaraderie.

Accountability partners can provide guidance, encouragement, and a gentle push when needed. The shared journey towards self-improvement becomes more enjoyable and sustainable with the support of others.  I have had the same accountability partner since 2005.  If it were not for her, I would have thrown in the towel long ago. 

Failure to Learn from Setbacks

Setbacks are an inevitable part of any journey, including the pursuit of New Year's resolutions. However, many individuals view setbacks as failures, causing them to abandon their resolutions altogether. Instead of letting a stumble derail the entire journey, it's essential to see setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning.

By reflecting on the reasons behind setbacks and adjusting the approach accordingly, individuals can build resilience and perseverance. This adaptive mindset is crucial for long-term success.

Lack of Intrinsic Motivation

External motivations, such as societal expectations or pressure, are often not sustainable in the long run. Resolutions driven solely by external factors may lack the deep-seated motivation needed to weather challenges and setbacks.  I recently went back to work as a nurse.  I get up at 4 a.m. to work out.  The hardest part of my day is after working 13 hours and being in bed for 6 and then trying to drag myself to the gym. 

For resolutions to thrive, it's crucial to connect them to intrinsic motivations—personal values, passions, and a genuine desire for self-improvement. When the pursuit of a goal aligns with one's core values, the motivation to persist through difficulties becomes inherent.

While the New Year offers a symbolic clean slate, the success of resolutions depends on more than just the turning of the calendar page. By setting realistic goals, creating specific plans, fostering accountability, learning from setbacks, and finding intrinsic motivation, individuals can increase the likelihood of achieving lasting change. As we bid farewell to the habits and mindsets that no longer serve us, let's embrace the potential for growth and self-discovery in the year ahead.

Join me next week as we dig into SMART goals and why this may be your answer.