4 Reasons Why We Fail At Resolutions, an article written by Rudiano Fiano
Read Rudiano’s article below. Related to this article, I found this terrific video with 20 questions that might be useful also…
Did you set a new year’s resolution this year?
By February, a lot of us have given up…
Love them or hate them, new year’s resolutions aren’t a bad idea. Far from it!
Let me explain.
According to research led by Static Brain, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.
Still, 42.4% fail on their resolution each year.
To top it all, other research shows that the same resolution will be set about 10 times before being honoured.
That’s 10 years!!!
Something is definitely broken.
Can the process be shortened?
Well in my experience, yes it can.
All we need to do is pay attention to the following 4 areas:
1. The why
Sometimes the reason for making our resolutions or setting our goal is pure guilt.
Say for example we set a goal of eating healthy but we don’t really feel like it. We just have that goal because we know we should.
If that’s the case then our goal is negatively driven only, but our goal should also be positively driven.
In other words, we should feel excited by the benefits of reaching our goal. We should be able to imagine and look forward to getting there.
If we can’t, it’s an indication it’s either the wrong goal for us or we need to research the potential benefits further and connect emotionally to them.
2. The how
We often expect fast results so we tend to skip planning for the long term.
However, if our goal is a long term one such as exercising, eating healthy, manage stress better, we need to plan pit stops along the journey if we are to make it to the finishing line.
For example, regular reminders of our goals, this can be set on our phone, using a free service like Habit Bull or Pep Talks.
We can even email ourselves in the future, using free service like Ten Years In The Future or Dreaminder
Research shows that we are more motivated to keep a long term goal when we see some immediate results.
Yet, you know what we can be like!
We look for the big win, and in the process overlook the small victories, the slight increase in self-control, the slight feel good factor.
We need to track these small victories, identify and celebrate them. Journaling can help do that.
3. The approach
We are generally good at going gung ho for a time then burning out. Maybe we take massive action at first but when the motivation spike subsides, we are left …well unmotivated and discouraged because we haven’t seen the results we want yet.
The best way is having a sustainable approach. Small incremental changes as part of a routine will make a substantial change in the end. Much more than a short moment of heroism.
It may strike us odd but making the journey towards the goal as enjoyable as possible may be more important than the by-product of meeting our goal.
So if we are trying to eat healthier, adding a salad twice a week (then increasing as and when we feel like it) will make much more impact than eating salad everyday from the word go then giving up.
If the goal becomes part of our routine, it will not feel so hard to reach. It will soon become second nature.
A word of caution though: at that point, WE MUST NOT fall into the temptation of making the goal harder just because it feels ” too easy”. We need to aim for consistency, not difficulty.
Again, small consistent efforts yield many more results than a short moment of heroism.
4. The where
Nature keeps teaching this to us: no matter how high the quality of the seed, it will struggle to grow in an infertile soil.
To a great extent, we are the product of our environment.
So if we are trying to eat healthy (keeping this example for continuity, but feel free to replace with any goal), it makes sense to stay away from temptation, whether physical (stash in the cupboard) or mental (favourite food programme).
A support system makes wonders too. If our off line circle isn’t supportive, then there is always an online group, forum, blog, youtuber that can provide a steady supply of mental fuel to help us to keep going.
Author:Rudiano Fiano is a self-improvement blogger who has been exploring productivity, creativity and entrepreneurship since 2010.
Rudiano combines his experience working across several industries, (as an employee as well as self-employed) with brain science. His message is that the science shows we need to rethink our approach to work, health and self.
He shares his insights at Rethink Entrepreneur and his online course platform The 3 video Life Changer.