Why New Year’s Resolutions Never Work (and How to Make Them Work)

Most probably you made some sort of New Year’s resolution to improve at least one area of your life. Since it’s been a month into the year 2021., how are you doing so far? If you are STILL accomplishing your goal and are making all the necessary moves, congrats! But I am afraid you are no longer on your path, disappointed and agitated in some way because you failed.

Why New Year’s resolutions don’t work? There is one simple answer to that. You can’t make your brain change overnight to make that resolution happen!

Year after year you can make a decision to change any area of your life. And year after year you will be failing. So, what is the choice here with resolutions? Stop making them and change your tactics.

Instead of New Year’s resolution elaborate a thorough plan

The plan is a good start to make changes. This is a good starting point (although it is not a guarantee to succeed) and by making a plan try doing the following:

  • Think of your goal in a long term. To accomplish anything takes time. Make sure you make a quality plan on the long run.
  • Elaborate your plan in as much detail as possible. Take it step by step – think very carefully about what steps you need to undertake to make your plan be a success. If it takes, make a plan in so many details that you will know when you need to wake up and go to sleep to make it happen!
  • Don’t overload yourself with decisions, changes, plans. Just take one or a maximum of two goals into consideration and elaborate them. Can you imagine what are the chances of succeeding in your goals if your goals include, for example, weight loss, book writing, and redecorating your house? These are all way too big projects to make it happen. Pick one, elaborate it, and stick to it until it is fulfilled. Then pick another project.


With a thoroughly elaborated plan comes an everyday mindset practice to stick to your plan

You didn’t think that only a good plan will make it happen, did you? No, here comes the hard part. Sticking to the plan on a daily basis is something that needs to be done constantly if you want to accomplish your plan. There is no easy way to succeed in anything, and this is especially the truth because of one basic human characteristic: we are all very impatient and want fast results.

Scientists say that it takes 21 days to incorporate a habit into your life. Personally, I’ve never tried with this exact day count but my experience says that everyday repetition of any habit will become an integral part of you eventually. For example, I used to drink sweet coffee with milk. This was bad for me for three reasons: my body can’t handle lactose very well, my stomach hurt me a lot and I am now a diabetic. So, for these three valid reasons I had to either give up coffee (because I couldn’t imagine drinking it any other way) or try to adjust. The alternative was: no sugar and no milk. Alright, I could have taken artificial sweets but I am against them. So, in the end, I started taking plain, black coffee without sugar and milk. The first day it tasted awful. No way I am going to take it anymore. It sucks… Then the next day I tried again. Yes, it still tasted the same. The third day again… and again… and again… After a month I got used to it. I actually started liking it. All it took was an everyday repetitive action and I made it.

What I did was plain and simple. I practiced an everyday habit. My mindset was focused in one direction and eventually I succeed. And this is only one of many small habits I incorporated by being determined and focused.

The conclusion – New Year’s resolutions do work but with a different mindset

The conclusion to any New Year’s resolution is that it rarely works. Without a good plan and determination to sticking to it on the long run, you will not be able to make any of your decisions/resolutions work.

Make it work by:

  • Thoroughly planning on a long term basis
  • Practicing success on an everyday basis with non-stop focus and with a firm determination



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