• Emma Nuttall

Why new year's resolutions fail

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

The secret to making them stick

We all want to make positive change in our lives and many of us begin the new year with resolutions to exercise more, lose weight, declutter our homes and the ever-popular goal of getting up at 5.30am every morning to meditate and journal! Instagram is full of aspirational content, inspiring us to dream big as we head into a new decade.

Dreaming is important and achieving these goals would make a significant impact on our health and wellbeing however, according to productivity guru Michael Hyatt, only 8% of new year’s resolutions are successful.

Why it's hard to stick to our resolutions

Generally, we start the year strong but after a few weeks, our motivation wanes, we get busy and our resolutions fall by the wayside.

How to set achieveable goals

What is the secret to new year’s resolutions that stick? Choosing goals that are achievable, not just aspirational. In addition to setting the goal, you need to consider the actions and intentions required to achieve it.

Have you heard of the SMART framework? Goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timebound have a much greater chance of success.

One of my intentions for 2020 is to declutter. I am setting myself the goal of achieving this by 12 January, before work commitments pick up. I have set aside 5 hours per day over 3 days and have scheduled the time into my diary. Early morning is better for me as procrastination and competing priorities are more likely to factor in, later in the day. I have purchased the storage boxes and space bags that are required to complete this task. I am focusing on the garage and kid’s bedrooms as aiming to declutter the whole house feels overwhelming and unrealistic.

This is an example of a short-term SMART goal. Long term goals are generally more challenging, so it is important to revisit them on a regular basis throughout the year, break them down into smaller manageable steps and set daily intentions that will get you closer to your end goal.

How to stay on track with your goals

If you want to be included in the 8% of people who achieve their new year’s resolutions in 2020, limit the number of goals you set to a manageable number, keep them SMART and take the time to consider the action steps and habits that will keep you on track throughout the year.