Saturday, 30 Dec 2017
Why do New Year’s resolutions often fail?
By Dr Becky Spelman
It’s rolling around to the time of the year when it seems like everyone makes a commitment to be better next year. But by mid-February almost all New Year’s resolutions have been broken. Understanding why can help you make real, long-lasting changes as you head into 2018 and beyond.
From losing a few pounds to honing a new skill, there are common resolutions that some people seem to make year after year. Yet despite their best intentions, most people will fail to make the positive changes they had envisioned for more than a couple of weeks. In fact, over eight in ten resolutions aren’t being stuck to by the time spring begins. So, why do people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions?
They fail to focus on a single area
For some people the start of a new year can seem like the perfect time to completely reinvent themselves. But focussing on so many different areas at the same time can mean you don’t have the energy or dedication to make any lasting changes. It’s better to pick out one key area that you would like to make improvement to and set out a realistic plan of action for how you’re going to achieve your goals rather than overstretch yourself.
They don’t make specific goals
Vague goals that don’t give you anything specific to work towards, often end up tossed to one side. You need to be able to track your progress to keep motivation high, otherwise you’ll often find you fall short of the results you wanted to achieve.
They make goals that seem too big
The goals you set are key to your success and it’s not just about setting a target in mind. Set a goal that can seem impossible and it will remain just that. Choose a target that you know is realistic and that you can break down into smaller chunks where possible. Remember to celebrate the small victories – they’ll slowly build up to that goal you’ve had in mind.
They don’t build a support system
The people around you have a big influence on how well you do. Having friends and family that can offer support when you need it and will help you along the way can make your aims more achievable. For example, if you plan to exercise more, enlist some friends to run with you once a week, or if you want to give up smoking, make sure your support group knows so they can be there when you’re tempted.
They give up after a small slip up
Everyone encounters setbacks at some point along the way. The difference between those that succeed and those that fail is how they handle it. People that go on to achieve their goals recognise that a slip up is just that, they put it behind them and then work to get back on track.
Who can I speak to about creating New Year’s resolutions?
Did you know that the Private Therapy Clinic can offer you help with maintaining motivation in order to keep you on top of your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re interested you can contact one of our therapists for a free consultation.