Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

by Christina Brown · 4 comments

in Frugal Living

We start the new year with the best of intentions.  This year is going to be the one that’s different.  We make our New Year’s resolutions.  And just a few weeks into the new year, we’re still struggling with the same resolutions.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

I made my own set of New Year’s resolutions public.  I have not scrapbooked.  I’m still drinking 2 cans of soda a day.  I haven’t touched my file cabinet. And then I also made a set of resolutions in my head that I haven’t shared.  It’s now just past the mid-January point.  I have made very little progress on any of my goals for the year.  Why?

Too many goals

I set a lot of goals for myself and for my blog.  I set so many that when it came time for me to work on them, I have felt completely overwhelmed.  And so I surf the web or check Facebook.  I think it would have been better to set fewer goals.  Then when they were met, I could add new goals.

 Goals that weren’t fully-formed

I’ve talked about SMART goals enough to know that I should always set them.  And yet, a lot of my resolutions where somewhat vague – lose weight, get in shape, make more money, save more money, etc.  I need to learn to be much more specific about what my goals are.

No plans to reach those goals

I’ve made so little progress because I have not put any plans in place to make them happen.  I need to remind myself to break larger tasks into smaller parts, and to schedule those tasks into my day.  I missed the whole concept of “how” will I make these goals happen.

The good news

The good news is that January isn’t over yet.  There is still plenty of time for positive change in my life.  Just because I didn’t accomplish some of my goals three weeks into January doesn’t mean that I can never accomplish them.  I can re-work my list of goals.  Make the list shorter and more specific with action plans and accountability built right in.

So if you’re like me, and you are struggling, don’t quit!  Revisit what’s not working for you and start making changes.  There’s still plenty of time to improve ourselves.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy January 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm

A couple of years ago I decided to use the entire month of January to set/revise my goals and budget if needed. December is just too busy for me. I needed more time to reflect on the past year and to decide where I wanted to be in the new year. One year I went with a theme for my resolutions: LESS. I decided I needed to work at being less judgmental. I also wanted to be less wasteful…to me that meant consistent meal planning so less food was being wasted. I also wanted to spend less of my time shopping. When I did shop, I decided to buy less and spend less. I made an effort to use our stockpile or to shop more second hand (and bring my own bag).

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2 Christina @ Northern Cheapskate January 18, 2013 at 7:45 am

I love the idea of having a theme for the year – it would really set the tone for getting things done.

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3 Amanda K January 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I made changes to how I worded my “goals” this year… instead of focusing on weight loss (i do that one every year), I changed it to fitting into a pair of jeans a few sizes too small, to eating healthier by trying new recipes (we’ve been eating paleo-like, my kids found out they love sweet potatoes and squash mash, and roasted broccoli with garlic), and to exercising a few times a week by having my schedule mapped out for the month and as my computers wallpaper… it seems to be working

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4 Christina @ Northern Cheapskate January 18, 2013 at 7:46 am

Great idea! You’ve done a great job of putting the action steps in place to reach the goal you want! Sounds like you’re going to have a great year!

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