Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail: 7 Pitfalls to Watch Out For (And What to Do Instead)

It’s only a few weeks into the new year, yet I wanted to check in.

Is your motivation still going strong? Or is it fizzling out already?

Setting new year’s resolutions can feel like receiving a jolt of adrenaline. You’re brimming with inspiration and drive. But when you start going through what is required to manifest those resolutions…

Action isn’t always as exciting as setting the intention.

You’re certainly not alone, either. Did you know an Ipsos survey showed that 30% of new year’s resolutions fail within three months?

Imagine if this were to happen year after year? It may not be noticeable at first, but you might start to…

  • Feel unworthy of manifesting your goals
  • Question your competence
  • Invalidate your self-worth
  • Start being more critical and unkind toward yourself
  • Keep postponing your goals (there’s always next year, right?)

You might even wonder why it’s worth pursuing new goals when you know you’re going to fail anyway.

It’s time to change all that.

Chances are you’re making avoidable mistakes. If you want to finally fulfill your resolutions so you can enter the next year feeling more empowered and motivated, be sure to watch out for these pitfalls.

Chances are you’re making avoidable mistakes. If you want to finally fulfill your resolutions so you can enter the next year feeling more empowered and motivated, be sure to watch out for these pitfalls. Share on X

Break the Cycle of Failed New Year’s Resolutions: How to Jump Over 7 Pitfalls and Achieve Your Goals

#1 You set one too many resolutions

Let’s face it. You’re busy.

If adjusting to the new normal during a pandemic wasn’t enough, imagine adding three, four, or even five goals on top of all your daily responsibilities!

Juggle too many things, and something is bound to drop and break.

Try this instead: choose one or two resolutions.

When it comes to your goals, less is more.

Instead of scattering your resources (and stretching yourself thin) to fulfill multiple goals, concentrate on one or two goals. 

This encourages you to prioritize which goals will manifest your purpose. Start with those and save your other resolutions for the next year!

#2 You miss the target because you didn’t create one

It isn’t enough to just say:

  • Lose weight
  • Find a better job
  • Focus on mental health
  • Save more money

Vague resolutions make it too easy to miss the mark. If you don’t create a specific target, you’ll miss every time.

Try this: Focus on measurable outcomes and daily habits.

Instead of losing weight, your resolution could be to lose six pounds each month by walking 30 minutes daily. If you want to feel more grounded after a stressful workday, resolve to meditate for ten minutes each morning.

Get specific on the outcome you want to achieve. Then brainstorm how you’ll manifest that outcome through a daily habit.

#3 You hang out with your electronics too often

Provision Living surveyed 2,000 adults and found that participants spent an average of 5.4 hours daily on their smartphones. 

If you work for eight hours, sleep for eight hours (ideally), and spend five hours on your phone, you only have three hours left for everything else!

After accounting for home schooling, errands, chores, and other obligations, there’s not much time left for your goals. 

Try this: Set designated hours for screen time.

Setting strict “usage hours” for your phone — say two hours in the evening — helps reclaim your time. The latest news and updates on social media can wait until after you work on resolutions.

#4 You attach your self-worth to your resolutions

Do you believe you’ll be worthy of love and happiness, but only after you lose the weight… or after you make enough money… or after you do this or that.

Some women set resolutions because they think that they’ll finally feel good about themselves if they achieve them.

But when you don’t follow through, you doubt your self-worth. 

Try this: Recognize that your self-worth is already there.

Your self-worth has nothing to do with any outward accomplishment. You have inherent worth because you exist.

If you fall short on your resolutions, your worth isn’t affected. You just fell short this time. When you work on your resolutions this year, know that you don’t need to prove anything to any one to be worthy. 

You already are.

#5 You turn ant hills into mountains

One slip-up shouldn’t be used as an excuse for multiple setbacks in a row.

Let’s say your goal is to lose weight and fix your diet. If you over-indulge with one meal, it doesn’t mean, “Oh, I already messed up. I might as well continue to splurge for the rest of the day and restart my diet tomorrow.”

This justification sounds sweet… And it might even make sense in the moment.

But it puts you on the fast track to sabotaging all your hard work.

Try this: Get back on track ASAP!

A good rule of thumb: don’t let it happen twice. If you over-indulge in one meal, get your diet back on track for the remaining meals. 

#6 You procrastinate without realizing it

Have you ever fallen prey to this type of thinking?

I want to lose weight, but I need to buy the new Fitbit first. I also need to do some research on the best workout routines. Oh, and I really need to give my workout wardrobe a refresh.

You could spend days, weeks, or even months trying to set up the perfect conditions.

This pitfall is easy to fall into because it feels like you’re doing something, but what’s really happening is you’re procrastinating.

Try this: Get started now and adjust as you go.

Your resolutions don’t require you to fulfill “prerequisites.” You don’t need all of the above to lose weight. You can start with a brisk walk outside today. And if you find that you need something, adjust as you go.

#7 You hold on to other people’s opinions

Be honest with yourself.

Do you set new year’s resolutions for yourself or do you create them so you’ll look good to others?

Of course, it’s the first reason. Whether it’s to feel more energy, experience more joy, or to create better opportunities for yourself, your well-being is at the center of your resolutions.

Why, then, would you seek external validation?

As you work on developing yourself, the people around you may notice. They may even criticize you for the changes you’re making.

A friend may be annoyed when you refuse to order pizza because you’re working on your health. A loved one may start acting passive aggressive because you’re making positive changes, while they are not.

Not everybody will cheer you on, and that’s okay (that’s why strong support systems are often rare and invaluable). 

A new year’s resolution is a pledge between you and yourself to improve your life. If the desire to improve yourself exists, then the opinions of others do not matter.

Try this: Let go of what does not serve you.

The opinions of others. Perfection. Shame and guilt. 

These things do not serve you. Rather, they distract you from attaining the life you desire.

Imagine what would happen if you could let all of these go. Imagine the greater ease you would experience on your self-development journey.

Is that something you desire?

If so, here’s a gift that will enable you to create your best life. Let Go of What’s Holding You Back is a free 2-part gift, checklist and worksheet, which provides helpful tips for letting go of the things that cause struggle and overwhelm and allowing for more ease. 

The checklist is a great reminder of what to let go of, and it will take you even further than what’s shared here. With this checklist, you can accelerate greater freedom, flow, and fulfillment in your life.

The worksheet walks you through how to let go of the specific things that you feel you need to let go of, giving you the steps to do this. You’ll be able to let go of the past and move into a future that you have designed.

Just click here NOW to claim your complimentary checklist and worksheet, Let Go of What’s Holding You Back, and learn how to create your future and all you desire.

Also, if you’re not already part of my online community, click here now to sign up and make sure you’re the first to know when there’s a new semi-monthly blog, free gift, program, and other helpful tips for how to overcome struggle and overwhelm and create your best life with ease.

Creating the New Year You Desire Begins With Letting Go

In many ways, life is a series of endings and beginnings. Each year of your life is like a chapter. You write in the pages throughout the months, beginning a new chapter with each new year.

It’s one reason why we’re obsessed with new year’s resolutions!

If you’ve created new year’s resolutions, how are you progressing? Are you sticking with your daily habits?

…Or do you feel like you’re floundering in quicksand?

If you feel like you’re floundering in quicksand, there are 3 things that could be weighing you down… that you may be holding onto without being aware of it. This could be impeding your forward movement. 

The simple answer would be to let go… But it’s not always that easy.

And so you hold on, creating more struggle as you labor at your resolutions.

The new year is fresh. You have time to manifest the year you desire with greater ease. I’ll share three common things that can weigh you down and tips for how to let go, so you can embrace a new beginning for you and your goals in 2021.

Why You Struggle With Letting Go

Humans often have a strange tendency to hold onto things — even when they hurt us. 

Whether it’s a bad breakup, or a friend wronged you, or when you make a mistake, you may struggle with letting it go. 

Why do we do this?

Perhaps it’s because we prefer to blame someone or something else for our hardships. Maybe it’s an excuse not to try new things in order to reduce your risk of getting hurt. Or perhaps you identify with your pain and don’t know how to move on from it.

Whatever you’re holding onto is holding you back. Hold on for long enough, and you do more than diminish your personal growth. You may also experience:

  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Fear
  • Self-doubt
  • Low self-worth
  • Self-sabotaging behaviors

These emotional responses can impede you from fulfilling your goals this year. They sap your energy, motivation and excitement for life. 

How can you strive for more love and joy when your heart carries self-doubt?

How can you love yourself when your inner critic has the loudest voice?

How can you see the opportunities available to you when fear clouds your vision?

Your new year’s resolutions become more wishful thinking than anything — a fleeting desire. You have neither the energy or drive to work on your goals. Just getting through each day can feel like a struggle.

Yet when you let go of what weighs you down, you open yourself to abundance. You can more fully experience…

A new year.

A new beginning.

A new opportunity to become the woman you want to be and fulfill your resolutions this year.

And it starts with letting go.

To experience greater ease as you work on your resolutions, let go of the three things that weigh you down. Here’s how…

Let Go Of These 3 Things to Embrace Your New Beginning With Greater Ease

#1 Let Go of Clutter

If you’re not making progress with your resolutions, and you’re surrounded by physical clutter… address your clutter first.

I know what you might be thinking… That’s too simple.

After all, stacks of paper on your desk, and piled-up dishes, and overflowing laundry hampers are minor things. What do they have to do with helping you let go and embrace a new beginning?

Clutter is a physical reminder of unfinished tasks. How can you focus on a new goal when household chores are stealing your attention at every turn? When you declutter your space, you allow for more space and energy to flow into your life.

Decluttering your physical space can also be a precursor to letting go of your emotional clutter. Decluttering your possessions is about removing what no longer serves you or adds meaning to your life. 

Similarly, the pandemic may have spurned negative emotional clutter you still carry today. This is a new year and yet, this clutter may continue to occupy space in your heart and mind. Accepting the current situation and letting go of any emotional clutter — even as the pandemic continues to evolve — can help you create space for manifesting your values and goals in 2021.

Try scheduling a weekend for your decluttering project. You can start small with your closet or even a drawer. If you want to challenge yourself, try going through your entire home, and you’re sure to feel more air and lightness when you finish.

#2 Let Go of Shame and Guilt

Turning the page to a new chapter is challenging when you’re fixated on the pages you’ve already written.

Think of it this way…

Like decluttering your space, letting go of the emotions that keep you down helps create new space for opportunities to lift you.

Often, the best start to letting go is forgiveness.

Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve set a new year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve set the same resolution more than once because you haven’t fully completed it yet. 

You might blame yourself for falling short. You feel guilty for not taking better care of yourself. You bear shame because you feel like you could’ve made better choices.

That’s in the past now.

It’s time to forgive yourself. 

And I’m serious! Do it right now. Go to the mirror. Look at yourself and say, I forgive you.

However, words are not enough.

Forgiveness is about taking action. And this is often the hardest part. Because everyday, you have a choice to make: to fall prey to your negative emotions or to advocate for the woman you want to become. Forgiveness is choosing the latter.

  • You choose to forgive yourself when you take care of yourself.
  • You choose to forgive yourself when you work on your goals.
  • You choose to forgive yourself when you accept what has passed and to feel blessed in the present.

The choices you’ve made in the past made you into the woman you are today. And the choices you make today will help you become the woman you want to be.

Remember to also forgive yourself in the future. We all make mistakes — it’s inevitable. You might skip a day with a daily habit you’re trying to develop because you’re busy or exhausted.

It’s okay. Forgive yourself.

Don’t let guilt and shame stop you from sparking beautiful change within. Forgiveness is the bridge that will help you cross into the life you’ve always desired.

#3 Let Go of What You Cannot Control

If you have felt like you were reeling in response to all the crazy changes from the pandemic, you’re not alone. 

The pandemic has disrupted all of our daily lives and livelihoods. Forget about new year’s resolutions — many women have been figuring out how to stay safe and provide for their families. Even now, you might be coping with the new developments surrounding the virus.

This pandemic is beyond your control. Focusing on what should happen or what you wish would happen is wasted energy.

But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless.

The serenity prayer is a reminder that you always have a choice, regardless of your current circumstances:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference

You always have a choice with what you do and how you react. You can choose to not like your current circumstances and not do anything about it.

Or you can take action.

Achieving your resolutions for 2021 is fully within your power. Your mindset and your daily habits are choices you make every day that can either move you forward or steer you away from your goals.

A family emergency may have disrupted your daily habit streak. That was out of your control. What is within your control is showing up for yourself the next day, ready to once again work toward your goals.

“There is only the moment, the choices you make in the moment, and your commitment to make the best choices for yourself today,” said Dr. Lori Rylan.

Let go of what you cannot change. Do what is within your power today so that you can attend to 2021 with a dedication to growth, joy, and love.

Let go of what you cannot change. Do what is within your power today so that you can attend to 2021 with a dedication to growth, joy, and love. Share on X

Start Your New Beginning With the Right Tools

Do you need additional support with letting go of whatever is holding you back? Do you desire practical advice in helping you lead a life of more self-care, self-love, and greater compassion?

If so, here’s a gift that will enable you to create your best life. Let Go of What’s Holding You Back is a free 2-part gift, checklist and worksheet, which provides helpful tips for letting go of the things that cause struggle and overwhelm and allowing for more ease. 

The checklist is a great reminder of what to let go of, and it will take you even further into the 3 things shared here. With this checklist, you can accelerate greater freedom, flow, and fulfillment in your life.

The worksheet walks you through how to let go of the specific things that you feel you need to let go of, giving you the steps to do this. You’ll be able to let go of the past and move into a future that you have designed.

Just click here NOW to claim your complimentary checklist and worksheet, Let Go of What’s Holding You Back, and learn how to create your future and all you desire.

The beautiful part about life is that you never have to go through it alone. If you can be vulnerable and open yourself to outside support, you will find the resources you need to make positive and lasting changes in your life.

What’s one thing you’re letting go, so you can kickstart 2021 feeling empowered? I’ll start: I’m saying goodbye to feeling guilty about taking time for me and my well-being! Share YOUR answer in the comments below.

New Year’s Resolutions: Is Your Approach Counter-Productive?

Each year, you make your new year’s resolutions.

And by the end of each year, how many of those resolutions have you fulfilled?

An Ipsos poll showed that over 50% did not fulfill their 2020 resolutions — 11% gave up after only one month.

You start the year with determination, and yet delivering on your goals somehow eludes you.

In 2021, how do you set a goal and actually achieve it?

What if I told you that the way you’re viewing your resolutions is counter-productive? Part of the solution is reframing your process for new year goal setting.

Let’s learn more.

The Danger of Outward Accomplishments

When women create new year resolutions, it usually involves some external achievement.

My new year’s resolution is to…

  • Lose 30 lbs.
  • Get a promotion.
  • Move into a bigger home.
  • Make X amount of money.

Outward accomplishments are fine. Here’s how they become unhealthy:

When I lose 30 pounds, then I’ll be happy.

When I get a promotion, then I’ll be happy.

When I move into a bigger home, then I’ll be happy.

When I make this much, then I’ll be happy.

But what happens when you don’t reach those external goals? First, you feel unhappy because you made your happiness dependent on that outcome. You may also…

  • Blame yourself
  • Feel weak
  • Lose faith in yourself
  • Question your self-worth

This is often the pitfall of setting resolutions that focus on external accomplishments.

What you can do instead…

Instead of creating 2021 resolutions that depend on outcomes (that usually involve some arbitrary number), focus on small daily habits rooted in self-love and self-care. Share on X

Instead of creating 2021 resolutions that depend on outcomes (that usually involve some arbitrary number), focus on small daily habits rooted in self-love and self-care.

Because here’s the thing about self-love and self-care…

When you learn how to love and care for yourself, you become empowered. And when you’re empowered, you are more likely to attract abundance into your life.

And isn’t abundance what most resolutions are about?

  • Being healthier so you can access increased energy and inspiration. 
  • Being more financially secure so you can provide for your loved ones. 
  • Being more balanced so you invite greater ease and joy.

Small daily habits — daily walks, 10 minutes of meditation, 5 minutes of prayer, and journaling — slowly manifest those outward accomplishments.

Self-care and self-love become the pathway to the abundance you desire.

Are you seeing the difference?

Now, let’s move on to two tips for following through with the resolutions you set for 2021.

2 Tips for Sticking with Daily Habits that Will Manifest Your New Year’s Resolutions

#1 Focus on the trees, not the forest

Remember: resolutions are only dreams until you have a plan for achieving them.

It isn’t enough to say, I want to lose 30 pounds. That’s looking at the forest.

Dive deeper and ask yourself, What small daily habit can I do to lose 30 pounds over the year?

Now you’re looking at the trees.

Small daily habits for losing 30 pounds might look like:

  • Walking around the neighborhood for 30 minutes
  • Adding 20 minutes of yoga to your morning routine
  • Eating a piece of fruit with your lunch, instead of chips or sweets
  • Enjoying a light salad before meals to help fill you up

Looking at the forest is great for setting a direction — lose 30 pounds, feel more balanced, be more organized. But looking at the trees involve those daily acts of self-care and self-love that will manifest those resolutions into your reality.

And start small.

Let the habit form over three weeks of daily practice. And when you’re ready, either add another new habit or increase the difficulty of your original daily habit — try jogging instead of walking or try more challenging yoga poses.

#2 Stop the all-or-nothing mentality

You know what I mean.

How many times have you started a diet, and then this happens on a Friday night…

I overindulged and ruined my diet. I might as well go crazy this weekend and get back on track on Monday.

You use one cheat meal to justify bingeing for the rest of the weekend!

It’s time to stop the all-or-nothing mentality.

Chances are, you’ll slip up throughout the year. Instead of letting one stumble excuse more counterproductive behavior, try this:

Don’t let it happen twice in a row.

Resolve to get back on track as soon as possible. Don’t postpone your resolutions to Monday or next month or next year!

Your Resolutions Are About Empowering You

Empowering YOU improves all aspects of your life — including supporting others.

Women, especially, can fall prey to over-giving to others at their expense. Despite your best intentions, this behavior is counterproductive.

Why?

Because you can’t pour anything from an empty cup.

When you fill your cup, then you can fill the cups of others.

When you love yourself, then you have greater capacity to love others.

When you accumulate resources for yourself, then you have more to share with others.

No matter what your resolution is, this truth is what will drive you forward. Each act of self-care is about helping you become the best woman you can be. And, as a result, you become a woman capable of getting what she wants out of life and supporting others to do the same.

If you’re looking for additional ways to get more of what you want and improve all aspects of your life in 2021, I have a gift for you. Click here NOW to claim your complimentary checklist, 15 Ways to Have Your Best Year Ever, and discover simple ways to enhance your life.

Plus, in the comments below, share your new year’s resolution and the daily habit that will help you fulfill it in 2021! I’ll start: My resolution is to complete my dissertation and get my PhD in 2021 by spending 30-60 minutes daily on reading, writing or research.

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