7 Reasons Why New Year Resolutions Don’t Work

A new day in Africa! (Sunrise at Hoedspruit, December 2011)

Most of the research suggests that majority of the people do not stick to their resolutions beyond a couple of weeks or months, if at all. And most of the goals established before the New Year end up way short of achievement. Having spent almost 30 years doing resolutions (a few times every year) and working with thousands of salespeople and managers who established annual goals, here’s what I think causes any New Year resolution to fail:

  1. Too casual. Some people come up with resolutions for the sake of resolutions, without giving serious consideration to what they really want.
  2. Not committed enough. Any resolution without total commitment is as good as a dream.
  3. Not specific enough. ‘I’ll lose weight’, ‘I’ll save money’, ‘I’ll travel’ are all examples of non-specific resolutions.
  4. No deadlines. Open-ended resolutions like ‘I’ll quit smoking’ are like any other promise without a time frame that we can easily postpone.
  5. No planning. A resolution without a plan is like a destination without a road map – without knowing how to get there.
  6. No follow-up. Milestones and checkpoints are critical in any journey. Resolutions that are not reviewed periodically often come to haunt us at the end of the year.
  7. No action. You know where you want to go, and how to get there, but you can’t there unless you start moving. Lack of action, laziness, and procrastination are often signs of lack of commitment.

If your resolutions haven’t worked well for you in the past, it’s likely because of one of the above reasons. This year, come up with fewer resolutions but make sure they are very specific, backed up with a full plan of action and have your total commitment. Then take the necessary action with perseverance, and review results often. In short, you need to know what you really want, by when and how… then act now!

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4 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why New Year Resolutions Don’t Work

  1. I personally think there would be two kinds of resolution short term and long term, short term can be monthwise and achieving the same we can acheive long term as well. Human being has the tendancy to forget long term things so to be agile enough we can use short term approach.


  2. Seven rules that must be remember often for me! It is very easy to forget in our work! Thank you Mush for your advise of sharing! It is really good…


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