Why people make New Year’s resolutions they can’t keep — and how to actually stick to them

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Why people make New Year’s resolutions they can’t keep — and how to actually stick to them

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# The allure of New Year’s resolutions

With the start of a new year comes the allure of making resolutions. People see the New Year as an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to improve themselves. However, more often than not, these resolutions end up being abandoned within the first few weeks. So why do people make resolutions they can’t keep?

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# Unrealistic expectations and societal pressure

One of the main reasons people struggle to keep their New Year’s resolutions is due to unrealistic expectations. Many individuals set ambitious goals without considering the steps required to achieve them. Additionally, societal pressure plays a significant role. The pressure to make resolutions, especially ones that align with societal norms, can lead to choosing goals that are not genuinely meaningful to the individual.

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# Lack of a concrete plan

Another common pitfall is the lack of a concrete plan. Setting a vague resolution like “exercise more” or “eat healthier” leaves room for interpretation and procrastination. Without a specific plan in place, it becomes easier to put off taking action, making the resolution more likely to be abandoned.

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# Lack of accountability and support

Accountability is crucial in sticking to resolutions, but it is often neglected. Sharing your goals with supportive friends or family members can provide the encouragement and accountability needed to stay on track. Without this support system, it becomes easier to give up when facing challenges or setbacks.

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# Setting SMART goals

To increase the chances of sticking to resolutions, it is essential to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Specific and measurable goals provide clarity and enable progress tracking. Making goals achievable and relevant ensures they are realistic and personally meaningful. Lastly, setting a timeline creates a sense of urgency and motivates you to take action.

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# Breaking down goals into smaller steps

Big goals can feel overwhelming, leading to frustration and abandonment. Breaking down resolutions into smaller, manageable steps can make them feel more achievable. Celebrate each small success along the way, as this reinforcement will keep you motivated to continue your journey towards the larger goal.

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# Creating a support system

Building a support system is crucial for maintaining motivation and accountability. Share your resolutions with friends or family members who can offer encouragement and hold you accountable. You may also consider joining groups or online communities that share similar goals, providing a sense of community and shared experiences.

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# Learning from setbacks and revisiting goals

Resolutions don’t always go as planned, and setbacks are inevitable. Instead of giving up at the first sign of failure, take the opportunity to learn from setbacks. Reflect on what went wrong, and adjust your approach accordingly. Revisiting and adapting goals over time will help ensure continued progress and prevent them from becoming stagnant or forgotten.

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# Tracking progress

Keeping track of your progress can serve as motivation and reinforcement. Whether it’s using a journal, an app, or a calendar, find a method that works for you. Regularly evaluating your progress allows you to celebrate achievements, identify areas that need improvement, and make necessary adjustments to stay on track.

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Conclusion

While New Year’s resolutions can be challenging to keep, understanding the reasons why people struggle and implementing strategies to overcome these obstacles can make them more achievable. By setting SMART goals, breaking them into smaller steps, creating a support system, learning from setbacks, and tracking progress, individuals can increase their chances of successfully sticking to their resolutions and making positive changes in their lives.

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