Why New Year’s resolutions fail constantly

   New Year’s resolutions are a tradition around the world intended to make oneself better. However, many people rarely follow through and end up failing their resolutions.

   The lack of determination can come from the resolution not being something the individual actually wants. Doctor Johnathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” gives his opinion on reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail. Alpert told Business Insider one of the biggest reasons people fail. “Goals need to be made for the individual,” said Alpert. “So often, people seem to be influenced by their friends, their family, what they see in society.” It makes sense that this is a leading cause of failing resolutions, as many people feel the pressure of society pushing them to conform to the image of perfection. There is a stigma around looking perfect, and many resolutions usually seem to be the same thing to try to conform to that; “exercise more” and “lose weight.” People should be making resolutions to make themselves better based on their needs, not what other people want from them. In the long run, trying to conform to what society or one’s family wants for them will most likely lead to unhappiness as opposed to improvement.

   Another reason people fail their resolutions is because they are too vague. “Lose weight” is too unclear. How much does one want to lose in what amount of time, and what are they capable of accomplishing in that amount of time? People have a tendency to create goals that are too broad and have no way of actually measuring progress throughout the year. Shainna Ali, author of “The Self-Love Workbook: A Life-Changing Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Recognize Your Worth and Find Genuine Happiness,” explains that resolutions have to be extremely specific. “The crucial component is tailoring tasks that align with who you are and where you wish to be,” said Ali. Rarely do people want to try to reach a goal that is too far away, but end up making extremely broad resolutions anyway. People want something in closer reach, hence why aspirations should be catered to the individual, what they want, and what they are capable of.

   It is important to have those smaller stepping-stone goals to get to the final destination. Small stepping stones could be losing ten pounds in a month or running a small local marathon. Smaller goals are easier to reach. It is easier to get to one place and then say, “I can get to the next one.” Little goals allow for more motivation, as they are closer to reach. Reaching for one little thing after another to get to something bigger is the better way to make sure that New Year’s resolutions are met and completed.

   Humans tend to focus on the bad, as it is a problem to fix. However, speaking negatively can end up creating bigger problems and not fix anything. People tend to think in “don’t”s, such as “don’t eat junk food.” It has a more negative connotation, and is very absolute. However, rewording it to sound more positive like, “eat apples and peanut butter for a snack instead of chips,” will make one more inclined to do it. It is not an absolute, as many resolutions can be. Psychology has found that framing thoughts positively creates better results. People are taught that “no,” “don’t,” and other such words are rejection, and have gained a negative feel. So in turn, changing them to positive words like ‘do’ is creating a path that seems safer and accepted. Everyone wants to feel good, and speaking to oneself and setting goals in a positive manner raises the chances of resolutions being successful.

   People’s New Year’s resolutions fail because they are going about them the wrong way. Changing these few habits will increase the chances of success tremendously, and more people will be seeing results in their New Year.