As we approach the end of another year, it's a natural time for reflection. What have you accomplished this past year? What were your greatest successes and biggest challenges? What got in the way of achieving your goals or stole your happiness a little too often?
Whether you're pleased looking back or discouraged that life took a U-turn, before making New Year's resolutions, find out why you shouldn't waste the time!
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Most people view the start of a new year as a clean white page and often set lofty goals for themselves to finally change their bad habits or achieve a long-standing dream. But statistics show that 80% of people who make resolutions will break them by the second week in February. New Year's resolutions disappear faster than confetti blowing in the Montana wind!
Do you know why most people surrender their resolutions and fail?
Reasons that New Year's Resolutions Fail
One reason may be that we tend to set resolutions based on our idealized image of ourselves rather than who we actually are. We might aspire to be someone who is always fit and healthy, never drinks or binges on Netflix, or is successful and organized.
However, the truth is that we’re often unwilling to develop the mindsets, skills, and habits required for these lifestyle changes—even if we don’t admit it to ourselves. Becoming (or being the person) we desire to be, requires a deliberate commitment of time and effort.
If we don’t face our inner truth with self-compassion, we will inevitably fail to meet our unrealistic expectations. The outcome? Disappointed in ourselves—again and again.
Another reason resolutions often fail is that they are based on short-term goals rather than long-term values. We might want to lose weight or save money, but these goals can only be sustained over time with a clear plan or purpose fueling them. So, try changing behavioral habits and utilizing your natural motivating engines instead of setting resolutions.
Deep dive: “How to Change Habits and Create a Life You Love!”
And don't forget that change doesn't happen overnight! It takes time and patience to cultivate new habits and achieve our goals.
Let’s look at a few success keys backed by research and an understanding of how to help our brain be most effective.
Keys to Creating Life-Changing, Positive Habits that Last!
KEY #1: Start small to make sustainable changes.
Rather than leaping into drastic changes or going cold turkey on a bad habit, start small.
Big attempts to change too quickly typically lack sticking power. Building powerful habits begins with small (or micro), consistent actions. We often minimize the power of small changes, but they can hugely impact our lives. Whether learning a new skill or trying to form a new habit, establishing a healthy routine, or making time for the things we love, minor improvements add up to success.
KEY #2: Develop a growth mindset.
Achieving lasting change requires us to hone and develop a growth mindset. When we practice this mindset, we focus on improvement, not perfection. We understand that there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow. With this attitude, we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and try new things, even if we fail—we even learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable!
A growth mindset allows us to learn from our mistakes and keeps us moving forward. A small self-correction can speed up our journey and make our goals easier to accomplish! However, if we beat ourselves up mentally every time we make a misstep, we add mental weight that slows us down and often discourages us. Recognize that you’ll make a few slip-ups and mistakes—stay encouraged!
Each experience teaches us how to be our better self and how to achieve our goals better.
KEY #3: Celebrate your victories along the way.
It’s vital to celebrate the milestones you achieve. Many of us quickly brush over small successes or even minimize substantial breakthroughs. It is self-defeating if we continue to push ourselves when we need to relax and enjoy our progress.
Instead, arm yourself with practical skills to be your best self and create your best year in 2023! Whatever your plans for the New Year may be, remember that success is earned. With the right tools and mindset, there's nothing we can't achieve.
And if you’d like some simple practices to reinforce the keys above and transform your life, stay tuned for our next Heartmanity blog, “3 Powerful Tools that Can Transform Your Life for the Better!"
And if you're ready to jump right in, get our emotional intelligence course to start your year off right with a step-by-step guide!