Why New Years Resolutions are Difficult

If you’re an ambitious individual always striving to improve your life, then it’s likely that you’ve set New Year’s resolutions and used this time of the year as a good opportunity to change aspects of your life, or to set new goals.


This is no surprise because the New Year is symbolic of new beginnings as the calendar year changes. However, you have to ask yourself – what is really different other than the year number moving forward by one? Very little is different. So, why is this such a good time to make changes? I would argue that it’s not always the best time, and that there may be more factors against us than there are supporting us.

The Holidays are a Busy and Stressful Time of The Year


First of all, the holidays are a very busy and overwhelming time for everyone. We are shopping, attending social functions and running many errands. We are travelling to visit family and finishing projects at work.


Seldom does the transition to the New Year leave us much time to focus on ourselves and our personal change efforts or goals. In fact, the New Year may leave many people feeling exhausted, especially if one has over-indulged in rich foods!


By the time everyone rolls back to work in the New Year, our corporations and supervisors have a new set of goals that they want everyone to attend to. This can be stressful in and of itself given that our energy levels may not be at their peak.

New Year’s Resolutions Are Often Too Big


With the New Year, most people’s resolutions are usually something ‘big’, daunting or overwhelming in nature. For instance, so many people (usually women) talk about losing 50 pounds, quitting smoking, switching jobs, or going back to school for further training.


These types of large goals can create a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve and perform in a certain way, and the expectation is that we begin January 1st and that we hope to be successful. These types of goals and changes however are very scary to our brains.


New Year’s Resolutions Scare Our Brain and Create Fear


Sometimes our New Years resolutions activate the fear/threat system in our brains. This is in part referred to as the fight-flight syndrome, where all the blood in our bodies moves away from our cerebral cortex and into our muscles so that we are poised to run away from our predators. What happens is that we end up avoiding taking our goals seriously because they feel too daunting, or they create too much pressure for us.

Small Steps Can Be Implemented At Any Time Of The Year!


What’s the solution then? Start breaking these New Year’s resolutions into smaller goals and concrete steps that you can begin taking today instead of waiting for the arbitrary New Year. Small steps are something that you can work into your schedule at any time and they are much less intimidating.


Statistically, New Years Resolutions Have Been Shown to Not Be Very Successful 


After all, if your goal is so important, then whey would you wait until the New Year to begin it? Another interesting point is that studies indicate that if a person is trying to change a habit, they will set a New Year’s resolution 10 times before they actually succeed! What does this mean? Start your change efforts today, because you are likely going to need some practice at making this change.


With small changes and new habits that we carry out daily, we train and shape the neural pathways in our brains to grow with our new habits and changes that our goals require. Neural pathways begin to support our new behaviours and attitudes and we are more likely to succeed in the long run

Bring in The New Year with  New Appreciation for What You Have Accomplished


You might find it helpful to conduct a personal improvement review on yourself, something that you might want to do every quarter of the year, or as often as you desire.  In addition, be sure to start and evolving achievements binder where you can capture all the goals that you think about as the New Year approaches.  An evolving achievements binder is easy to manage, and it’s an inspiring way to keep  yourself on track as the New Year progresses.


Start Setting Your Goals Now for 2012!

If you haven’t tried my goal setting and motivation program yet, be sure to book mark this page and come back to get started

Start Your New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 Today!

Are you getting ready to set your New Years resolutions for 2012?  Why wait to begin working towards your goal in the New Year? I think people postpone out of fear that they will fail if they begin now, whereas if they begin in the New Year they believe that they are more likely to succeed.


The reality though, is that achieving a tough goal and making the necessary changes is something that is likely to require repeated efforts over time, especially if your goal involves breaking a habit. In 2002 the American Psychologist published an article titled, If At First You Don’t Succeed: False Hopes of Self-Change. In this article they state that when people are trying to quit a bad habit, they actually end up setting the same New Year’s resolution on average, ten times before they actually give up their bad habit! Click here to learn how to change your habits now!


Do you wonder why quitting a bad habit might require so many attempts? Part of the answer is that people fail to plan ahead, and to think about what will be needed to make the necessary changes needed to achieve their goals. For instance, if you are going to stop smoking, how will you do it? What resources or supports do you have in place? If you are going to start exercising, what plans do you have in place to make sure that you will be exercising when 2012 rolls around? Do you have a gym membership, a pair of comfortable running shoes and actual workout gear that you feel comfortable wearing?


A learning lesson is that, if you don’t prepare yourself before launching your goals and the necessary changes behind them, you are likely to fail, or to only succeed for a short period of time. This is why people continuously set the same New Year’s goal over and over again. The other piece that is required for success is actually learning by doing or taking action, and adjusting our efforts as is required.


Each time you try to quit a bad habit, you learn something about yourself. For instance, you learn about what worked or didn’t work. For this reason, you’re better off starting to pay attention to your new year’s resolutions now, so that you can get some practice in before the new year of 2012 rolls around. Hopefully with enough practice you’ll be well on your way to achieve your new year’s resolutions for 2012.


If you’re unsure about what New Year’s resolutions to set, then you can begin by trying my online goal setting and motivation program now.