Why New Years Resolutions Fail & How to Set Goals That ACTUALLY WORK.

It's a well known fact, that, sadly, most New Years Resolutions last about as long as hangovers. Fortunately, with the right knowledge you can turn it around. Don't give up hope! Here are eight reasons why your previous resolutions failed, and how to fix it!

Reason 1 :You Have no Social Support.

Ever tried to diet when your spouse is not? Cringe! It's hard because we feel tempted to go back to our familiar habits when we are constantly reminded of them.

In addition, people are used to you behaving a certain way and will offer you that slice of pizza or invite you for too many pinot's. When we are changing ourselves we benefit from having a community who aspire to the same things. t's not just because we are facing the same challenges, either. When we are with a tribe of people undertaking the same task, our stone age brains motivate us by evaluating our "success" in relation to other people in competition for status and security (you may not like the idea of being competitive, but competition actually gets the job done and motivates us to push through obstacles, in a way that hanging out with people who enable or tempt us, really doesn't!) Just use competition in healthy ways, Have self compassion when you err, and do your best not to flaunt your success, rather use it as a teaching opportunity which aids others, but only if called upon.

Fix it:.

  1. Find an accountability buddy. Tell someone your goals and what actions you are committing to do and encourage them to hold you to it. A simple nudge like “It’ll be easier than you think, believe in yourself.” gets you through many days you wish to quit.

  2. Encourage a friend with a similar idea to plan to do xyz at the same time.

  3. Enter a program or group. Being a part of a tribe who are investing in the same pursuit is invaluable.

  4. Enlist a professional. Professional coaches, trainers and therapists are worth every penny in the long run. You’ll be motivated and they’ll reflect your commitments to change back to you each session.

Reason 2: Your Goal Doesn’t Really Fit in With your Life Purpose or Values.

Do you know your life purpose? What do you value? Given it much thought? Most of us have turned around at some point in our lives and said:

“Looking back, although I invested so much energy in xyz, I wasn’t being the REAL me.”

Fix it: Figure our what is really Important to you and how you want to look back on your life.

Ask yourself:

"If I really gave zero cares about what anyone thought, what would I be doing with my life?"

"What would I want people to say about me at my funeral?"

"If I was given 12 months to live, what would I be doing with my life?"

Act accordingly.

Reason 3: You Don’t Set up a Crystal Clear Vision, Back it up With a Plan or Hold Yourself to it.

Try this instead

  1. Create a clear vision of what you want

  2. Determine WHY you want it

  3. Define your future goals

  4. Prepare a detailed Action Plan (5 year, 12 month, quarterly and monthly action steps)

  5. Review, adapt and adjust as you go along.

  6. Celebrate your successes and milestones.

I suggest keeping a folder or spreadsheets with your goals and plans handy for daily (or at least weekly) reference You can use this worksheet.

Reason 4: You Have No "Activation Energy."

Are you noticing that it's hard to get acting? According to Coach Mel Robbins, The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, you have to physically move or your brain will attempt to stop you. Like hitting the snooze button, when we hesitate we get bogged down mentally.

Fix it: Mel suggests you take a breath, count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and do it.

"You’re never going to feel like it. Motivation doesn’t just come in an instant and stay for the rest of your life. So, instead of approaching changing your life and accomplishing your bucket list like a huge task, you must start thinking about the small changes you make, every day, that make life-altering positive differences over time." Decide you're just going to do five minutes on the task you were avoiding. Research shows that most of the time you'll commit to five inutes with less menatl resistance and most of the time, you'll get into a flow and keep going. Awesome!

Reason 5: You Have a Reason Why Part of You Doesn't Want to Reach Your Goal and You Sabotage Yourself. (Even though you also really want it.)

Our subconscious minds actually determine more of our behaviours than we realise. Some examples of a sabotaging belief system are:

" I don't want to lose weight because I might attract unwanted sexual attention."

or "I don't want to have property because future partners will take advantage"

These may be things we have conscious awareness of, or not. These may be related back to traumas from our lifetime, or they may be genetic or societal, even. For example, you don't have to have ever been bitten in your lifetime to get that rush of panic and adrenaline when you see a snake. It's a response you adopted from others. Their job is to keep us safe, but they don't necessarily work, they often just create frustration with slow progress of our goals. We can adopt ideas about money, success, health, sex - anything really, from our ancestors, society or our own traumas which prevent us from getting what we want.

Fix it:

1. Work through the trauma which created the protective sabotage pattern.

2. Enlist a Kinesiologist to help you break through your fears and limitations and realise your goals.

3. Recognise and work on your family or societal belief systems which are dysfunctional to you. Kinesiology can help.

Reason 6: You Know What you Want, But You Have NO Idea WHY You Want it.

Why do you REALLY want what you want?

For what purpose?

People are often taken aback when I pose this question to them in my clinic. Generally, it’s not automatic for most people to self-enquire about their honest, deepest motivations when it comes to goal-setting, but you might be surprised by what you find.

Your answers to these questions reveal your true needs and values and therefore what SUCCESS really means to you, for example:

That last five kilos aids one persons sex life, which helps their marriage but aids another persons self esteem.

The truth of what we are trying to accomplish beneath it all is often surprising and is precisely the key we wish to identify so we can recognise what we value, what constitutes success for us (long, happy marriage, for example) and only by maintaining the connection to our highest ideals is going to motivate us to push through when we hit a roadblock, and help us set goals that keep us motivated and actually make us happy when they come true.

Fix it. When considering your goals ask yourself:

Why do I want xyz?

For what purpose?

What will I be able to do/be/have once I have xyz?

What WON’T I do/be/have if I don’t get xyz?

Reason 7: You Don't Believe In Yourself.

The single biggest barrier is a lack of self-belief. When we have wavering faith in ourselves there is hesitancy, the chance to withdraw, we decline opportunities and there's refusal to take calculated risks.

Fix it: 1. Don’t reinforce negative beliefs by setting unrealistic goals or committing to change BEFORE you really mean it. Committing to quit smoking on January 1, when you still have half a carton in the house, several social engagements through January, and not enough money to invest in supportive therapies may not be the most strategic approach. Setting yourself up to “fail” reinforces negative self concept. Establish what is realistic, achievable and ecological and stick with that. Keep it simple!

2. Base your “success” on your ability to perform PROCESSES rather than looking at the outcomes. Eg. Success this week means successfully going to yoga 3x a week and doing hip stretches once a week -process focus. (Rather than being able to do mermaids pose- result focus) Of course, if you don’t realise your goal you may need to review and modify your processes and keep going.

3. Don't JUST write a to-do list, write a TA-DA list! That simply means write down each beneficial action that you have taken in the day and place a tick next to it. Our brains release Dopamine (the pleasure chemical) when we reflect on our accomplishments, and it really is motivating, plus it will increase your self-belief.

4. Recognise and correct your negative self talk. Many people find affirmations or visualisation of a favorable outcome helpful, you may also wish to address negative self talk with Kinesiology.

Reason 8: You Judge Your Progress too Harsh/too Soon and Give Up.

Fix it: 1. Setting reasonable expectations and time-frames helps. You’ll gain a sense of satisfaction from reaching an easy goal, and a sense of hopelessness from falling short of an ambitious one.

2. Make sure your goals are broken down into managable chunks, such as weekly or daily tasks.

3. Acknowledge that the problem took time to form, and the resolution may also.

4. Be proud of yourself for your effort regardless of results.

I hope you enjoy optimising your chances of success and happiness with these tips and feel free to use my FREE Goal-setting resource.

Remember that a Kinesiologist can help you reduce stress, aid with accountability, and help you get out of your own way.

All the very best in realising your goals.

x Erin Ricketts

“You were born with the power for miraculous things, make your life extraordinary.”