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5 PROVEN REASONS WHY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FAIL

5 PROVEN REASONS WHY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FAIL

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail And How To Succeed In Goal Setting

Three weeks into the New Year and here I am typing up my first post of the year! For some writers, an absolute no-no! Unheard of. Three weeks without writing a single sentence???  Especially at the start of a new year when you should be motivated, inspired, energized, all that good stuff.  No wonder why new year’s resolutions fail!

Hold on – I can explain.

From great food at Thanksgiving, presents at Christmas, plus the fireworks that brought us into the New Year- the excitement over the past few months came to a screeching halt on January 2nd.

The holiday bubble burst and I was tossed back to reality! Ugh.

The work I had pushed aside now sat there waiting for me. I ignored it for another few days because I just couldn’t. Something was holding me back. I was not motivated or able.

What was wrong with me? Everyone else was talking about their “word of the year”. The one word they had chosen that was destined to make 2017 the best and most productive year ever!

I read many articles with New Year’s resolution ideas. On weight loss, productivity, relationships, travel, friendships, family.

You name it, I read it.

But you know what I realised? All these new year resolutions were bound to fail! Yup. Every single one of them. Here’s why.

The articles were giving great suggestions. However, the way they suggested approaching goals and resolutions was completely off.

They all had the same mantra.  Achieve success by starting anew. The “fresh start effect.”

Just because we have a new calendar year, do we honestly need to start everything over?

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I understand letting go of the things you no longer like or want in your life. Yes, let all those things go. What about the things in your life you want to keep? The things you can build on that you like, in order to refine what you are already doing.

You want to move forwards not backwards right? That’s why I say don’t start over. Build and grow instead.

Let me break this down for you into smaller, clearer points.

Here Are The 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

1. You Are Lacking Motivation Or Commitment

Most resolutions made do not make it past January. The ones that make it into February are usually forgotten by March.

Why? Lack of commitment. It is easy to be motivated. Maintaining motivation requires commitment. Without it, your initial motivation and energy to get your resolution going will dwindle. And fast!

Do you know anyone who has made the same resolutions each year but never manages to stick to them? Have you done the same?

Don’t feel bad, you may have the right intentions, you just need a little help in committing. I will explain this a little further into the post.

2. You Are A Master Of Procrastination

You have had an entire year to make changes in your life. Every single day has presented a new opportunity for you to change.

That didn’t deter you from pushing that opportunity away, making excuses as to why it is not the right time.

I guess January 1st just seemed to be like the perfect day to start right?

Wrong.

Have you ever told yourself that you just “didn’t have the time” to do one thing or another? What I have learned is, saying you don’t have the time means that it is not a priority.

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I’ll give you an example.

You come home from work, walk into the kitchen and make yourself a sandwich. Finish eating and toss the plate into the sink which is piled up with all the other ones from yesterday. You know you need to do the dishes but Scandal is starting in 20 minutes on TV and it is the season finale!

It will take you 10 minutes to do the dishes but you tell yourself “you don’t have the time.” So you ignore the dishes, check your Facebook notifications, upload a picture to Instagram, Tweet about Scandal and the 20 minutes are up.

Ok, how about this scenario?

You toss the sandwich in the kitchen sink, and right there on the kitchen counter, a genie appears out of nowhere. Offers you 10,000 Euros/dollars if you agree to do the dishes before watching TV.

HA! I see you rolling up your sleeves, turning the tap on. What? Are those two plates and dishwashing liquid in your hand?

You see how that quickly became a priority and you suddenly do have enough time?

The same works for when you want to plan your goals. Only set goals you are really interested in meeting.

Prioritize your time and tackle the things you can you reasonably achieve in the timeframe you have set for yourself. Be it a month, a season, or a year.

3. You Have The Oliver Twist Syndrome

New Year’s resolutions fail because people are constantly wanting more. It is our nature. Creating a ton of goals will get you nowhere.

Setting goals means you are trying to achieve something you do not already have. Aspiring for something in the future. If you don’t plan the right way your new year’s resolution won’t work, which in turn can affect your self-confidence and self-esteem.

You end up beating yourself up and feeling bad for not achieving your goals. They key here is the focus.

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Say you have TEN goals you want to achieve by December 31st, but you know realistically, you can only achieve five if you are lucky. Which five do you keep? Which five do you let go?

Think about it – so now you have five goals, cut them down to three.

Good. Look at your list of three goals. What timeline will you set for them?

It is human nature to want more as soon as you have received or achieved something you want.

This works out well for a goal setting scenario because you can divide the timeline of reaching your goals over shorter periods of time.

Break your main goal into sub-goals. When you create a timeline, you take your goal from something that will happen in the future and move it into the present.

A timeline subconsciously creates a commitment to meet your goal. Reward yourself for each success.

Fret no more! I have something special just for you to get you started.

A goal setting guide which includes a goal planner, daily agenda (three different formats), and a weekly planner PLUS some excellent information on how to set and keep your goals.

4. Resolution Adoption

One of the biggest reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail is that the resolutions are based on the expectations of others. If you are making resolutions based on what others think you should be doing, you are setting yourself up for failure.

What have your family and friends been whispering into your ear?

Stop smoking? Start exercising? Quit drinking? Cut sugar out of your diet?

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All great ideas and suggestions. They love you and want you to live the best life possible, they mean well – I get it.

Don’t set goals for yourself by looking at other people’s expectations or by reading a magazine that tells you how to ‘get fit,” “get thin,” or do anything else.

The more you are aware of and understand the reasons why you are doing something, the higher success rate you will have at accomplishing your goal.

Reason why New Year’s resolutions fail at such a high rate? They are not coming from your heart.

5. You Don’t Believe In Yourself

If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth.

Get rid of that voice by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Defeat doubt and begin believing in yourself. Really trust that you can do it.

Use These Tips To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Work

  • Write down your goals
  • Break a large goal into smaller achievable parts
  • Track your progress daily
  • Make it public
  • Create routines that support your goals
  • Tell friends and family about it
  • Be accountable

Make the commitment and success will be yours.

Have you made New Year’s resolutions and ended up not sticking to them? Thought about why New Year’s resolutions fail one year after the other? Were you able to identify the reasons you were unable to meet your goals?

Please share your experiences with me in the comments section below.

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/search/write?photo=s9CC2SKySJM via unsplash.com

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Sheri Leinfellner

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Published on September 25, 2018

The Careful Art of Delegation

The Careful Art of Delegation

Do you find yourself constantly feeling busy? Or, maybe you feel like you have too much on your plate? Perhaps you have a to-do list with no end in sight, or many responsibilities to juggle on a daily basis at work. When you get home, you have household responsibilities to take care of, too, and it just seems like you never have much time for a breather.

Being busy is good, it’s better than not having anything to do and letting time slip away. But, what many people don’t realize is, being busy doesn’t always mean you’re being productive. The more time you take to complete something does not equal to more success. Many people end up falling into this trap as they pack their day with tasks and errands that may sometimes produce little outcome or output for the effort that they’ve put in.

For example, let’s say that your washing machine at home broke down and you need to fix it. Instead of calling the handyman to come, your husband decides he’s going to fix the machine. He ends up spending half a day figuring out the machine, and does eventually fix it. He did however have to make a trip to the tool shop to buy some extra tools and parts for the machine. Now, if you had called the handy man, it would probably have taken the handyman much less time, and he would have all the necessary tools and parts already, because that is his job. So in this instance, was your husband’s time and effort worth it? Oh, and because he took half the day fixing the machine, you now had to take over his duties of dropping the kids off at soccer and swim practice.

We Need Not Be That Busy

I hope you would agree, that it would have been ideal to delegate this task to the handyman. That would have saved you time and effort, so that you and your husband could focus on doing other things that were more important to you, like being there for your kids or spending time with each other. This is just one example of how we often impose busyness on ourselves without us even realizing it.

But, I’m going to show you just how you can gain quality time from external sources. Whatever big goals or ambitions that you may have, it’s normal for them to involve a lot more of your time than you first expect. I’m talking about things like starting a new business, changing careers, perhaps even moving to a new city. New challenges often involve things that are outside of our experience and expertise, so covering all the bases ourselves is sometimes not feasible as it takes too much time to learn and do everything.

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You Are Just One Person

At the end of the day, you are just one person, and you have a limited amount of time. So, you have to do things that are meaningful to you. While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones needed to get there may be meaningful. Because we all have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, not every task will be enjoyable or all fun & games. Some simply require pure willpower and discipline to grind through. And that is where delegation comes in.

What is Delegation?

You may hear this term a lot in the business or corporate world; it’s an effective way for managers to distribute (or sometimes avoid!) work. But, that’s not what I’m referring to. Instead, delegation means leveraging time from an outside source to give you opportunities to increase your quality time. By outside source, we simply mean that it’s not your own time that you’re spending.

What Should You Delegate?

To delegate effectively, it has to be done with deliberate intention. So the aim of delegation is to create more quality time for yourself. There are 3 types of tasks that you should generally delegate, called the Delegation Triangle.

The first are tasks you don’t enjoy doing. These are things that you know how to do, but don’t enjoy. Second, are tasks you shouldn’t do. These are things you know how to do and may even enjoy, but may not be the best use of your time. Third, are tasks you can’t do. These are things that need doing, but you don’t have the skills or expertise to follow through with them at this moment.

Have a look through your daily tasks and responsibilities, and see if you can fit them under these 3 categories.

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Pitfalls of Delegation

Using the Delegation Triangle, you can decide which tasks are worth delegating. In theory, it might look easy to sort actions at first glance; but often, it’s actually harder than you think! 

One such example, is diverting time on tasks you shouldn’t do. Let’s go back to the washing machine example. Your husband decides to fix it on his own instead of simply getting an expert to fix it. Why? Because it’s probably a challenge he enjoys, and it’s an accomplishment that would bring him satisfaction. However, if the value of the task is too low, you really ought to delegate it to others.

Sometimes, when you have a larger goal in mind, you might have to sacrifice some actions in return for making progress. Always think about the bigger picture! One thing that can help you avoid this pitfall is to keep your deadlines in mind whenever you set milestones for a project or task.

Deadlines are a commitment to yourself, and every bit of time is precious. So if an activity you’re focusing on is taking time away from progress towards your goal, it may be time to let go of it for now. You can always decide to pick it up again later.

Then there’s the other extreme of delegation. And that’s when you start delegating everything you dislike doing to external sources.Sometimes it’s tempting to abuse delegation and get carried away outsourcing everything on your “don’t like doing” list.

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Some people are too picky on what they’re going to do. But sometimes, if you don’t like doing so but you’re the only one who can do it, you still need to finish the job. At the end of the day, it does take your own hard work and effort to achieve the success you want.

So if you find that you’re constantly running into this problem of over delegating, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation, or reason for doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

Ask yourself, “Is this task contributing towards a meaningful objective that I want to achieve?” and “what kind of progress do I make each time I carry out the task myself?” If the task is both meaningful and creates progress, then the next step is to ask yourself questions that can help you create actions.

What obstacles are causing you to avoid this task? Is it because of low confidence in your ability? Do you think someone else can do a better job? Is it your level of focus? Or is there an alternative action you can take that can produce the same results?

Take Action Now

Take a look at your current tasks or to-do’s that you have planned this week. Which tasks are possible candidates that fall under the Delegation Triangle? Are there any that fall under the pitfalls mentioned above? Which tasks can you immediately identify that should be delegated out right now?

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I hope this exercise helps declutter your tasks and responsibilities a little and allows you to see how much more time you can be saving for more important things. But, this is not the end of delegation. After you’ve sorted out the tasks that can be delegated, the next step is to determine who it should be delegated to. Besides people like your co workers, or spouse/family members, did you know that there is a whole delegating industry out there?

If you’re keen to learn more about this delegating industry, and find out how you can decide who’s the best fit to do your delegated tasks, subscribe to our newsletter today. We will help you discover many more skills that will boost your productivity by leaps and bounds!

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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