Five reasons why New Year's resolutions don’t work
We all hope that the New Year will bring new opportunities and be the year we make positive changes, become happier and achieve personal and professional success. However – we tend to resist change and may not give our goals sufficient thought. So before you write a long list, consider the following reasons that could undermine your plans and you will be better prepared.
1) They are pretty much the same as last year.
If that’s because they are ongoing, lifetime goals, great! But if it’s because you didn’t achieve them last year, you may feel disheartened and hopeless, knowing deep down as you write them, that you are just going through the motions and already expecting that you will fail again. Not a positive mindset with which to start the year!
2) They are vague.
For example – deciding “to learn more” is just an initial idea, not a clear goal. How will you know what you really want to learn, how it will benefit you, where to start, how to monitor progress and at what point you have achieved what you wanted? Such a vague resolution is easily forgotten.
3) They are not in line with your values.
When you honour your values, you are being true to yourself, everything flows and life is good. But setting goals that aren’t in line with what is deeply important to you (such as integrity, connection, caring, recognition, making a contribution) will usually result in you self sabotaging without understanding why. This can lead to a repeat of the negative emotions mentioned in point one – with additional self judgement and criticism thrown in.
4) They do not support a balanced life.
If you do not check that all the areas of your life are in balance, you could easily have a great set of goals focused around one aspect of your life, your career for example, only to find you get your desired promotion but you, yourself, are in a bad way, having neglected your health and personal relationships, are having no fun and are in debt.
5) They are not your goals.
Your family and friends may have certain expectations about you which, for whatever reason, you feel obliged to meet. This is fine if it is something you truly want to do, if it inspires you, stretches you, makes you happy. But if those positives are missing and you feel you ‘should’ do it - look honestly and carefully at your reasons for making that choice.
Decide upon a reasonable number of resolutions that inspire you, address the above potential challenges for each of your goals – and have a wonderful year!
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About Jackie Fletcher
Jackie Fletcher of Transitions Life Coaching has been coaching for 14 years, having escaped the corporate world! Jackie works with individuals who find themselves at a personal and/or professional crossroads in their lives, supporting them in creating a satisfying life that is balanced, successful and happy.