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This Time, Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick

by Product Specialist

Well, it's that time of year again… time to recommit to a healthier, wealthier you. By the numbers, 45% of Americans have made resolutions this year, but only 8% will successfully achieve their resolution. In fact, the falloff will start this week with many of us reintroducing many of our old habits:

Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%

Whether you started yours on January 1 or opted for the ol' "Come Next Monday" delay tactic, now is a good time to recognize the stumbling blocks and have a plan in place for getting back on track quickly. Rather than beating yourself up over a misstep or two, challenge yourself to think through what went wrong so that you can regain your focus and get back on your way to success.

We came across the list below, written by Chrissy Scivicque, of the most common reasons people don't follow through on their resolutions as well as tips to get back on track. They're simple and helpful.

1. You didn't make a plan for it.

A lot of people forget that a resolution is really just a goal. It has to be treated as such. It doesn't have additional superpowers just because it starts on January 1. A goal requires structure. Otherwise, it's a wish.

Find success by being proactive and making a plan. Look for possible obstacles that may present themselves and prepare for how you'll deal with them. Don't just cross your fingers and hope for the best.

2. You forgot the reasons why you were doing it.

Motivation matters. If you don't know why the goal is important, it's easy to drop.

As with any goal, it is important to clarify exactly why you're doing this, why you NEED to do this. If you haven't written it down, do so now! Post it in visible locations. Create small reminders to help keep you focused when times get hard.

3. You didn't plan for setbacks.

Let's face it: no one is perfect. We all fall off the wagon at some point. You need a clearly defined plan for what to do when this happens and how you'll get back on that horse.

It is important to recognize that things will get hard and unexpected obstacles will sometimes get the better of you. That's no reason to give up completely. Give yourself some leeway. Find ways to forgive yourself and reignite the passion.

4. You didn't have a strong support network.

Friends and family are important. They can help raise you up or push you down, depending on the nature of the relationship. With any goal, it's important to surround yourself with people who believe in what you're doing and want to see you succeed.

Gather your groupies! Let them know what you're doing and why and ask if you can count on them to help you reach your goal. If they're not supportive, keep them at a distance. Who needs toxic relationships anyway?

5. You took on too much too fast.

Many of us get a little over-zealous around the New Year. We want to make huge leaps of progress overnight, but real growth is a slow and steady journey.

Take it one step at a time. Go in with reasonable expectations and be patient. It's not about how much you achieve and how quickly. Focus on one, really important goal. Put one foot in front of the other each and every day. Momentum will naturally build as you make incremental improvement.

6. You weren't accountable to anyone.

Sure, you want to succeed. But, in the dark of night when you're all alone, it's easy to get persuaded by that nagging negative voice inside your head. You know the one. The voice that says you're not cut out for this. An accountability partner helps keep you focused and on track, even when you think you're ready to throw in the towel.

Find one person who promises to hold you accountable. When you say you're going to do something, this person follows up to make sure you've stayed true to your word. An accountability partner will help silence the saboteur in your head.

7. It wasn't that important in the first place.

Perhaps you set a goal that others wanted you to set. Or one you felt you "should" set. That's not very motivating. It's easy to give up on something that never really mattered that much to you in the first place.

Review your goals and choose the one or ones that truly matter to YOU. If it's not something you truly believe in, you'll never succeed.

8. You're afraid of success.

This sounds counter-intuitive. Truth be told, a lot of goals sound great in theory but once you actually start thinking of what life will be like once it's accomplished, fear can easily set in. Sometimes, we're so attached to who we are and life as we know it - flaws and all - that we unconsciously sabotage ourselves.

Be prepared for this. Recognize that fear is just another part of the process. Think long and hard about what you want from life and what you're capable of. While it's scary to push past your pre-conceived limits, it's also a necessary part of self-growth. Use fear to fire yourself up.