36 new year resolution fail

#36 Why New Year’s resolutions fail & what to do instead

Happy New Year! We are flying into 2021 and many people have made their New Year’s resolutions. Have told yourself what you wanted to change? Do you want to work less? Do you want to spend more time with your family? Would you maybe want to lose some weight? 

Unfortunately, research shows that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are kept. 

But this probably isn’t the first year you’ve tried to keep your resolutions. 

Why do we drop our resolutions after a while?

1 Habits

Almost everything we do in our day to day life is based on the habits we have. These habits take over our lives and if you want to start a new resolution, you need to change the habits that are linked to your resolution. If you want to start working less, try to think about the habits you would have to change in order to achieve that (by creating a habit of planning daily breaks for example), instead of simply trying to work less.

2 Reason

Another reason why we don’t always stick to our resolutions is because we do not always know the true purpose behind them. So ask yourself the ‘why’ question and really think about a good answer. Do you want to lose weight because you will feel prettier? Because just wanting to become prettier might not be a compelling enough reason for you to actually pursue your goal. Maybe you want to lose weight because you will feel healthier and you want to be able to spend time with your grandkids later in life. This is a much deeper and stronger desire that will help you follow through with your goal.

3 Result-oriented focus

The third reason why we often cannot follow through with our resolutions is that we are taught in a very result-oriented way. We want to see results to confirm that we are doing well. That concept has been ingrained in our brains since we were little. But while adopting new habits, it can take a while before we see any improvement at all. For you to feel comfortable doing a new habit and seeing progress, a new neural link has to be carved in your brain, and that takes time! 

 

I just explained to you a couple of reasons why sticking to your resolutions is so hard. We are often stuck in our old habits, we don’t always have a compelling enough reason to follow through and we frequently focus too much on seeing results in the short term. 

What you should do instead

Now that we know why we have a hard time pursuing our new resolutions, I will give you a big tip that will help you with your new habits: evaluating your 2020. By evaluating last year thoroughly, you can see what you want to change and what you’d like to hang onto. In the show notes of this podcast, I have put a link to a free year review that will give you insights into how your last year went and how you can have more impact, meaning, and balance in 2021. I’ll shortly explain how it works.

1 Impact

Evaluate the impact you had in 2020. The impact you had is measured in the rate that you succeeded in achieving what you set out to achieve that year. It is important that you do this for your work, but also for your personal life. Did you manage to open up to your team? Did you spend more time with your family? Did you spend more time with yourself? Try to write this down on the paper in the link.

2 Meaning

The second thing I want you to evaluate is the meaning you’ve found in 2020. What are your core values and did you live your life according to those values, because if the lifestyle you had last year did not match your values, you might feel numb or empty inside. It is essential that you live corresponding to your values for you to be happy.

3 Balance

The last aspect I want you to think about is balance. Ask yourself these questions. What in life, be it at your work or at home, gives you energy? And what actions cost you energy? In order for you to have balance both in your work life and your private life, you must ensure that you do more things in one week that give you energy than things that cost you energy.

I truly believe that if you want to be happy, if you want to be successful, you have to balance these three elements. If you have had the impact you wanted, according to your values, but you have done too many things that cost you energy, you probably still felt stressed or burned-out. If you had found balance, but you didn’t have meaning, you might have felt that something wasn’t right in your life. Achieving this balance is hard and will take up a lot of time. The thing I want you to remember is that you cannot change these three elements at once (remember: the bigger the change, the bigger the resistance). You will need to focus on one thing and once you have implemented that and you’ve made a habit out of it, you can go to the next thing.

I hope this podcast helped you getting insight into creating new resolutions according to your values and how to follow through with them in order for you to have a more impactful, meaningful, and balanced 2021 😊.

See you in the next episode!

qileader authentic leadership

Links mentioned in this episode:

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