15 reasons why New Year’s resolutions are already starting to fail

The countdown is over, the hangovers have faded, and our bellies are full from all the holiday festivities. Resolutions have been made, offices have reopened and life is starting to reacclimatize after two weeks of celebrations.

Despite the best intentions when making New Year's resolutions, the sad truth is that the vast majority of New Year's resolutions are often abandoned by February. In fact, research from the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals, meaning 92% of resolutions fail.

There are several reasons why New Year's resolutions often start to falter by the second week of the new year. Here are 15 potential factors to watch out for to prevent the best intentions from turning into past wishes.

Unrealistic goals

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Setting goals that are too ambitious or unrealistic can lead to discouragement when they are not achieved quickly – make sure your goals are measurable and achievable.

Lack of planning

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Not creating a concrete plan to reach a resolution can make it difficult to stay on course. A milestone plan will help keep those goals on track.

Too many resolutions

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Trying to tackle too many resolutions at once can be overwhelming, making it harder to focus on a single goal. For best results, try focusing on a small handful of goals.

Lack of accountability

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Without a support system or someone to hold them accountable, some people may struggle to stay engaged. The buddy system works very well. Some people choose “financial responsibility,” such as paying for a gym membership.

No clear motivation

Unhappy man at work
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If the resolution has no deep meaning or lacks personal significance, motivation can quickly wane. Resolutions should be personal and sentimental to ensure that there is a stake in achieving these goals.

Unrealistic expectations

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People often want to see quick results, and if they don't, they may lose interest or become frustrated. It is best to be realistic about deadlines and ensure that these goals are achievable within the given time frame.

Failure to fit

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Life circumstances change and failing to adjust resolutions accordingly can lead to frustration and giving up. Indeed, when work or personal commitments start to encroach on the time dedicated to achieving goals, we must be able to pivot accordingly.

Negative mentality

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A negative mindset, self-doubt, or fear of failure can sabotage efforts to maintain resolutions. Indeed, among all the potential obstacles to achieving our goals, we can be our own greatest enemy.

Lack of consistency

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Consistency is key to forming new habits. If consistency is lacking, resolutions risk being left behind. Make sure a regular, manageable schedule is in place for consistent results.

External stressors

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External factors such as work, family issues, or other stressors can distract attention and energy from resolutions. Be sure to build in some flexibility to allow life to get in the way so that goals aren't abandoned at the first sign of trouble.

Lack of patience

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Lasting change takes time. Some people may lose patience and abandon their resolutions prematurely.

Inadequate support system

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Without a supportive environment, individuals may struggle to stick to their resolutions. Again, the buddy system works well, but even being able to confide in friends or colleagues can help.

No celebrations for small victories

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Failing to recognize and celebrate small successes along the way can lead to a lack of motivation. It is equally important to recognize the results that come from the sacrifices made in pursuit of an end goal to ensure positive reinforcement.

Burnout

Woman suffering from burnout
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Attempting major lifestyle changes too quickly can lead to burnout, making it difficult to maintain new habits. Definitely try not to overdo it.

Motivation Addiction

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Relying on motivation alone can be risky because motivation naturally fluctuates. Building discipline is crucial for long-term success. It's crucial to develop regular, positive habits rather than relying on enthusiasm for success, which can naturally diminish over time.

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