New Year’s Resolutions: Why people fail them and what to do instead.
It’s a pretty common trend that as the new year approaches, people start thinking about the resolutions that they need to make for the future year. According to a 2022 poll by YouGov about 37% of Americans said they had a goal or resolution that they wanted to achieve in 2023, with 87% saying they were very or somewhat likely to keep it through the year. Yet, research from the University of Scranton found that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
While numerous individuals struggle to sustain these resolutions, establishing and pursuing objectives remains a valuable catalyst for personal growth and heightened self-awareness.
What are some benefits of making New Year’s resolutions:
1: The start of a new year provides a new opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forward to areas of personal growth and improvement.’
2: They help us stay motivated.
3: They can bring positive change in our health, relationships, career, or personal growth.
4: By creating a more flexible or growth mindset, we can evolve into more empowered and authentic individuals.
What are some cons of creating New Year’s resolutions:
1: Pressure and expectations.
Some of us may feel pressured to create resolutions, So we make them in a hurry and don’t have much idea of what it means to bring these changes. We have no plan and no strategy for how we will achieve them. Result, we don’t follow through and then beat ourselves up for not being good enough.
2: Effect our self-esteem:
Once we get into the habit of setting new goals at the beginning of the year and fail to accomplish them, it further affects our self-esteem. We feel disappointed in ourselves, feel like a failure, and repeat the cycle every year, thus letting it affect our self-esteem.
3: Dependence on external validation:
Following the trend of setting New Year’s resolutions after we hear a lot about them, either on social media, or with friends and coworkers talking about it, can lead to undue and unhealthy dependence on trying to fit in, or seeking that external validation, rather than on our own personal growth and goals.
What are the reasons that people do not follow through the New Year’s resolutions:
1: Goals are not that realistic
2: No clear plan of how to meet these goals.
3: Lack of seriousness while setting the goals.
4: Lack of accountability.
5: Low motivation.
6; Lack of patience.
8: Stress life.
9: Fear of change.
10: Being familiar with old habits. It feels safe.
While many people may struggle to maintain their resolutions, setting and working toward goals can still contribute positively to personal growth and self-awareness.
What are some alternatives to setting a New Year’s resolution that might actually work?
So instead of the traditional New Year’s resolutions you can try below to stay motivated, develop a growth mindset, improve on your skill set, gain self-awareness, and move towards being authentic individuals rather than tagging along with the rest of the world, and later feeling bad, that we didn’t follow through.
1: Choose a single word based on, something that is very close to your heart. Something that you have always wanted to strive for, and when you saw others have that quality inside them, you wished to have that secretly. And it’s ok if it is some worldly possessions, It could be financial independence, financial gains, working on your confidence, or even healthy body image or weight.
Then make it a journey, and not a destination.
2: Instead of vague resolutions, set specific, achievable, and timely bound goals.
3: Choose monthly goals, like each month dedicated to something that will bring personal growth or a change in lifestyle.
4: Consider Therapy. Therapy is a great way to not only discover more about yourself, like who you are, but also to uncover your strengths and challenges, and what you need in your life to feel fulfilled, accomplished, and grounded. So just like we join a gym to stay physically active, we can find that empathetic therapist who can help us build those mind muscles as well. As therapy is like a workout of those tiny microscopic brain cells that you may not see, but for sure are responsible for how you feel, think, behave, perceive, and function in society.
5; Start a Journal. : make a habit of daily journaling your thoughts or accomplishments, and your challenges and see how you are doing in handling them.
6: Practice mindfulness; every day allot 15 minutes of your time, doing nothing and just reflecting on “how you are doing”? Enjoy that present moment, without worrying about what the future has to bring. Pick one time of your life that was extremely stressful in the past. Reflect on how worried and stressed you were. Now see, are you still anxious about it, or was it a thing of the past? Watch this Interesting phenomenon. We do not have anxiety about the past. We only get anxious about the future. That’s why they say all we have control over is the ‘ Present’. So enjoy this gift of a ‘ present’.
7: Pray, or practice gratitude: look back and see how you have handled challenging times in your life. Look at the world as a bigger picture, and see what is it that you feel blessed for. Start with simple things like a job, paycheck, home, kids, food, moments of peace, etc.
8: Allot some time to help someone or your community without mentioning, sharing, or talking about it. ‘ Play a secret hero!
Ultimately, the choice between setting New Year’s resolutions or exploring alternative paths is a deeply personal one. Aligning approaches with individual needs, aspirations, capabilities, and challenges, will not only foster a sense of accomplishment.
But you will end your year with a sense of pride.
Lastly, try to stay curious about your journey. Show self-compassion, and even if you fail, you will still learn a lot about yourself, and your surroundings. That’s a win right there!