The start of a new year is often a time for reflection and goal-setting, which often results in making New Year’s resolutions.

Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions with the intention of improving their lives. Unfortunately, many of us start off with enthusiasm only to find ourselves backsliding or giving up altogether. If you’re one of these people, don’t despair — there are a few reasons why resolutions so often fall short. Being aware of them will set you up for success.

Be Specific and Realistic

The biggest reason why we don’t succeed at our New Year’s resolutions is that they’re too ambitious. Many of us make resolutions that are too broad or complex, or that require too much of a lifestyle change. When attempting to make a major change, it’s important to start small and work your way up. If you try to tackle everything at once, it’s likely that you’ll get overwhelmed and give up. Unachievable goals can lead to feelings of frustration and discouragement if they’re not met. This can lead to giving up on the resolution altogether and feeling like a failure.

Another common problem is that we’re not specific enough when it comes to our goals. If your resolution is to “exercise more,” that’s too vague. Instead, you should outline a specific plan of action. Decide how much time you’ll dedicate to exercise each week, what types of activities you’ll do, and which days you’ll do them.

Start Small

Additionally, many of us bite off more than we can chew when it comes to our resolutions. If you haven’t exercised in years, it’s unreasonable to expect to become a marathon runner in a few months. It’s better to start small and build up your progress gradually.

Sometimes our resolutions are simply too hard to keep. If you’re not a morning person, it’s going to be difficult to stick to a goal of waking up at 5 AM every day. It’s better to choose goals that reflect your lifestyle and natural tendencies.

Align Your Goals With Your Guiding Principles

Finally, we often don’t have enough motivation to stick to our resolutions. If you’re not passionate about your goals, it’ll be hard to stay focused. Find a way to make your goal more appealing or find an activity that you’re passionate about.

New Year’s resolutions can be an excellent way to make positive changes in your life. But if you don’t have a concrete plan, realistic goals, and a strong motivation, it’s going to be difficult to stick to them. With a little bit of planning and dedication, you can make sure that your resolutions become a reality.


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