Nearly half of us are making New Year's resolutions, but less than 10 percent of us are actually keeping them. Whether it's lack of motivation, lack of resources, or we just lose interest, it's time to make a fresh start and figure out ways to finish what we've started. Here are 10 reasons people don't stick to their New Year's resolutions and how to keep it from happening this year.
Reason 1: Going it Alone
Whether it's quitting smoking, improving your tennis game, or going to the gym more often, don't go it alone. "If you are someone who has a higher success rate when you have outside support, then get a buddy," says success coach Amy Applebaum. "This creates accountability, which is essential for success."
"Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be more, do more, and have more," advises The Mojo Coach Debi Silber. "If you play tennis and want to improve your game, play with people better than you who inspire you to be better." Remember, your buddy should be a positive force in your life, not a negative one. Silber recommends avoiding so-called "energy vampires," or people who drain you mentally and emotionally, even if they're willing partners.
Reason 2: Extremely Lofty Resolutions
If your goal is to solve world peace, maybe a more attainable goal is to vow you'll finally read War and Peace. "Most of us create resolutions that are too ‘big' and therefore we can't meet them," Applebaum says. "Examine your resolutions. Are they what you really want or did you commit to them because you thought you were supposed to?"
Take it day by day, says life coach Hunter Phoenix. "I've made a pact with myself to stop obsessing about the past, fantasizing about the future, and to instead embrace the present and what I can do to make a difference here and now."
Reason 3: Giving up too Easily
Whether you get discouraged or simply lose interest, giving up too easily is a big resolution breaker. "Many people make their resolutions with a genuine belief that they can accomplish them, bu come February the excitement wears off and other priorities begin to take precedence," says Andrew Schrage, founder of MoneyCrashers. "To cure this issue, try to set benchmarks throughout the year. By doing so, you can keep yourself on track throughout the year and use the power of positive reinforcement to keep your momentum going."
Reason 4: Time Management
Sometimes you realize your resolution is a bigger time commitment than you'd originally intended. Instead of trying to accomplish it all in one day, break it up into manageable increments. "I resolve to devote five minutes a day to being clutter-free and organized," says professional organizer Melinda Massie. "The easiest way to get and stay organized and clutter-free is to make it a daily habit, and everyone can spare five minutes a day."
Reason 5: Financial Burden
Many give up on their resolutions if the associated expenses are too high, Schrage says. "For example, losing weight can sometimes require an expensive gym membership. Be creative and try to find less expensive ways to complete your goals. If you're trying to lose weight, you can exercise and work out without a gym."