Losing weight. Reading more books. Seeing the world. Make more time for friends. These are just some of the New Year's resolutions many of us make when the clock strikes midnight. Though our brain motivates us to say the words, it's doing the action and sticking with it that seems to be the hard part. We've broken down a few big reasons why New Year's resolutions fail and what you can do to fix it.

You Expect Results Too Soon

person standing on scale with measuring tape on floor

When we set our minds to something, we often want to reap the benefits right away. It's tough to see the mountain you have to climb when you know what's waiting at the summit. So, we let ourselves down, hard. We easily become disheartened if we haven't hit our target weight in just a few months or if we fall behind on a schedule.

Life is going to get in the way. It's important to remember that you're not a failure if it takes you longer to accomplish something. Even if you don't travel as much as you'd like or hit your target weight when you want, the main thing is to keep your focus and not give up.

You're Quick To Throw In The Towel

Bouncing off that first point, many of us typically stop our goals if we haven't reached our target. It's not even just reaching the goal, it's reaching it in an impossible amount of time.

Don't lose sight of what you want for your life by turning your back on New Year's resolutions. It's okay if you fall behind or if things take time. Set realistic goals for yourself with realistic timelines to avoid this pitfall.

You Don't Give Yourself Enough Credit

worried man staring into space

Even with a set schedule and proper timelines, a big obstacle is confidence. We'd like to think we know ourselves better than anyone, but the flip side to that is you're also your worst critic. When friends and family believe we can do something, it's up to us to take that to heart and work on pushing out the negative thoughts we have about ourselves.

It's silly to think about if you've never tried it before, but there are a few tricks you can try:

  • Talk with people who support you; they'll convince you of everything you can do, which can override your negative thoughts
  • Reflect every day; at the end of each day think about all the things you accomplished. It doesn't have to be something huge like earning a raise; the small things in life are minor victories we take for granted.
  • Repeat a mantra; tell yourself that you're doing well or that you will accomplish the goals you set out for yourself. Be persistent in giving yourself a pep talk and ramping yourself up.
  • Set goals; prepare a list of realistic goals you'd like to achieve at the end of the year or the end of six months. Work through them bit by bit and keep going when things get tough.

You Procrastinate For Too Long

person napping on sofa

A big issue we all run into is time. Some of us are overwhelmed in thinking we need to get everything done right away. Others relax for too long and then it's too late to accomplish what they set out to do.

Contrary to the unrealistic expectations we have for ourselves, we can't put things off till the last minute either. Don't convince yourself that since you have a whole year, things will get done eventually. Put yourself on a schedule and stick to it. Future you at the end of the year will thank you for it.

You Haven't Made A Plan

When midnight hits, our minds run rampant with a slew of New Year's resolutions. We're going to do so many things by the year's end! The only thing is... we haven't quite set a plan for ourselves. New Year's resolutions aren't something you should wing; prepare a proper plan for yourself.

List out a detailed description of what you'd like to achieve, how you're going to do it, and when you'd like to see results.

Financial planning is also a crucial step. Joining a gym, buying Nicotine gum, or saving for a trip all costs money. Know what you want your goal to be and make yourself a solid financial plan so you're not staring into an empty wallet just weeks later.

You're Not Honest With Yourself

woman writing out a plan

Our ideas for New Year's resolutions aren't always the most realistic. Our desire to lose weight then turns into pressure to run a marathon or enter a bodybuilding tournament. These events may have seemed interesting from afar, but are you really going to strive for that for yourself, or merely out of pressure?

Be honest with yourself about the things you want to accomplish. Don't do things for others or to bow down to societal pressure. Make New Year's resolutions based on what you want so you don't disappoint yourself down the road.

You Haven't Figured Out The Why

Okay, so we've nailed down what we want to do. The big thing left to figure out is why. Why do you want to accomplish these goals? Are they for you or someone else? Are you committing to yourself to enrich your life? Sit down and figure out why you want these New Year's resolutions specifically.

If you don't know why you want to do something, you'll wind up detouring off the path you set for yourself. Confusion leads to indifference which causes disappointment when you haven't accomplished what you wanted.

You're Not Ready For Change

displeased woman eating lettuce

Part of being honest with yourself is knowing if you want a big change. It's not easy losing a bunch of weight or quitting smoking. A problem many people face is making New Year's resolutions for the sake of making one. Then you focus deters, lack of motivation sets in, and you're bummed for another year.

You still have plenty of time to figure out what you want and why; do those things first.

You Don't Have A Support System

No one likes to do something tough alone. When you're thinking of working out or quitting smoking, you'll want some friends with you along the way for support. Tell those closest to you of your plans so they can offer good vibes when you stop believing in yourself.

It's even better if you have friends who have accomplished the goals you want to. They can help keep you on the right path and give you pointers along the way.

Additional Methods To Try

overhead shot of a bullet journal

A few different things to try next year are:

  • A bullet journal. Journaling will help you keep track of what you've done so far, and gives you a creative outlet.
  • The Headspace app. The app gives you different meditation methods to try, so you can keep calm while working through your New Year's resolutions.

These tips are just some of the ways you can keep your New Year's resolutions this year. Set realistic goals for yourself, don't push yourself too hard, and remember that not everything goes according to plan. It's okay to falter or take your time. By the end of the year, you'll have done more for yourself than ever before.

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