Vision boards, lists of New Year’s resolution — Yes, as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, millions around the world are setting New Year's resolutions thinking that 2024 will be their year. Yet, a few weeks or months down the line many find themselves back to their old habits, their resolutions long forgotten. Why do these well-intentioned promises so often fail?

Unrealistic Goals

One of the primary reasons resolutions fail is the tendency to set unrealistic goals. People often aim too high. For example, to completely overhaul their diet or exercise routine overnight. Such drastic changes are difficult to maintain, leading to early burnout and a sense of failure.

Lack of Specificity

Vague resolutions like "get slim" or "save more money" are meant to fail because they lack clarity. Without specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives, it's challenging to track progress or feel a sense of accomplishment.

Take Emma’s goal for example:

Specific: Save $1,200 for an emergency fund.

Measurable: Track progress by saving $100 each month.

Achievable: Review and adjust monthly expenses to free up $100 for savings.

Relevant: Ensure financial security and peace of mind in case of unexpected expenses.

Time-bound: Achieve this goal by the end of the year.

Lack of Support

Trying to achieve a resolution without support can be lonely. Social support, whether from friends, family, or a community, can provide encouragement and accountability, making it easier to stick to your goals.

Ignoring Underlying Issues

Sometimes, resolutions fail because they don't address the underlying issues. For example, a resolution to lose weight might not tackle the emotional or psychological factors contributing to unhealthy eating patterns.

The Wrong Motivation

Resolutions often fail when they're based on what someone thinks they should do, rather than what they truly want to do. Don’t compare yourself with what you see on social media.

So how do I create a New Year’s Resolution that sticks?

Step 1: Reflect and Choose Your Goal

  • Reflect on the Past Year: What worked well for you? What didn't?
  • Identify Your Desire: What do you really want to achieve this year? Is it related to health, finance, personal growth, career, or relationships?

Step 2: Set a SMART Goal

  • Specific: What exactly do you want to achieve?
  • Measurable: How will you track your progress?
  • Achievable: Is your goal realistic with the effort and resources you can commit?
  • Relevant: Does this goal truly matter to you? Will it improve your life?
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline. When do you want to achieve this goal?

Step 3: Break It Down

  • Create Mini-Goals: Break your main goal into smaller, more manageable steps.
  • Action Plan: Decide what actions you need to take for each mini-goal.

Step 5: Gather Support

  • Seek Accountability Partners: Friends, family, online communities, or a mentor.
  • Resources and Tools: What tools or resources do you need to help you succeed?

Step 6: Monitor Your Progress

  • Track Your Achievements: Regularly review your progress. Celebrate small wins!
  • Adjust as Needed: Be flexible and make changes to your plan if circumstances change.

Step 7: Stay Positive and Persistent

  • Mindset is Key: Stay optimistic and don't get discouraged by setbacks.
  • Persistence: Remember, progress is often non-linear. Keep pushing forward!

Remember, the journey towards achieving your goals is often just as important as the destination. Embrace each step, learn from the setbacks, and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. The LifeAt team is wishing you all a year filled with growth and happiness. Cheers to making this year our best one yet! 🎉