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Three Reasons Your New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Stick…And What to Do Instead


A new year naturally lends itself to a new start and many people choose to create that new start by forming resolutions. These people have great intentions, but by about mid-February, nearly 80% of them have given up on their goals.[1] Here are three main reasons why people abandon their resolutions:


  1. The resolution was too big. In a study completed in 2014, 35% of people who failed to keep their resolutions said their goals were unrealistic.[2] You begin the year with high motivation ready to make big changes, but you don’t take into account that motivation is not easy to sustain.

  2. They didn’t have a way to keep track of their goal. A Chinese proverb states that the faintest ink is better than the sharpest memory. Stated another way, your memory can fail you and leave you wondering if you actually completed any actions toward your goals.

  3. They did not include others in their resolutions. Recent studies have shown that sharing your goals with someone whose opinion you value makes you more likely to follow through with your goal.[3] Sharing your goal is good for accountability and celebration.


This year, instead of setting a resolution, set a streak. Streaks have answers for each of the main reasons why resolutions fail. They’re found in the three laws of streaking:


  1. Make your streak laughably simple. This is the key to success. A streak creates a floor to stand on as you move forward on the path of improvement.

  2. No record, no streak. If you do not keep track of your streak, it doesn’t count. There is such power in being able to say the exact number of days you have been consistently accomplishing an action.

  3. Create a community. The most important responsibility of the community is to celebrate with you. Your community should not be a task master making sure you complete your streak, instead they are the cheer team that propels you forward.


The best thing about setting a streak is that you don’t have to wait until a new year comes again to get started. Start your streak right now or tomorrow or next week, the time doesn’t matter. Then see just how long you can complete the actions that will help you become who you want to be.




Footnotes

[1] Marla Tabaka, “Most People Fail…” Forbes (Digital) January 7, 2019, https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/why-set-yourself-up-for-failure-ditch-new-years-resolution-do-this-instead.html , accessed January 5, 2022.

[2] “New Year’s Resolutions Statistics (2021 Updated), Discover Happy Habits, November 13, 2021 https://discoverhappyhabits.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ , accessed January 5, 2022.

[3] Cory Stieg, “How to Stay Committed…” CNBC: Make It, September 5, 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/05/why-sharing-goals-with-someone-helps-you-achieve-them.html , accessed January 5, 2021.



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