The Top 10 Reasons Why Your New Year’s Resolution Fails

It’s that time of year again—time for the obligatory setting of an arbitrary goal based on the first of the year. It might even be the same “goal” you set each year.

We have all set them.

And we have rarely ever achieved them.

In fact, without having exact statistics, I feel confident in saying that roughly 92.68% of New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it to Groundhog Day. You can verify this by going to the gym that is crowded in January, but by February you could use three treadmills at once if you wanted to without anyone complaining.

But maybe this year could be different for you. Maybe you just don’t realize why you are so bad at creating a New Year’s Resolution.

Here is my Top 10–style list of reasons why your New Year’s Resolution fails.

#10 It’s Not Important To You

You just create your resolution because you feel like you “should”. “I know I should get to the gym, so I will set the goal of going to the gym 7 days a week!” Peer pressure and guilt/obligation are usually the culprit.

#9 You Go ALL or Nothing

You haven’t been to the gym in perhaps four years, but then you commit to going to the gym three times a day, seven days a week. Or maybe you decide to completely cut out all carbs, sugar, and alcohol.

#8 You Don’t Go Big Enough

Some people go too big (like #9), but others play it too safe. “I will go to the gym twice a week” or “I will write 1,000 words per week.” If your New Year’s Resolution/goal doesn’t actually challenge you, then you will easily fall back into your old routines.

#7 You Expect Instant Results

You think that just by launching your new blog that traffic will start flooding the server and you will be an instant success. Or you think that after a week of not eating carbs/sugar that your six-pack abs should be there. Nothing will kill your motivation more than failing to achieve unreasonable expectations.

#6 You “Should” All Over Your New Year’s Resolution

Using “should” on yourself implies guilt and obligation. We all do it, but it doesn’t usually work in motivating us. Even though it should (wait . . . there it is again!).

“I should stop eating so much fast food (but I don’t have time to cook).”

“I should watch less TV and read more (but I am so tired after work and just want to veg out).”

“I should get up early and exercise (but I have never been a morning person).”

When you should all over yourself (or other people), you aren’t usually setting the New Year’s Resolution/goal because you truly want to. It is definitely not coming from the right place of desire.

#5 You Don’t Know How to Actually Set A Goal

It’s not really your fault; maybe no one has ever taught you how to set a goal. You think you can just pick something such as “I want to lose 10 pounds,” and that it will just happen. If you were using something similar to the SMART goal-setting technique, you might set yourself up for success.

#4 You Don’t Know Yourself (or You’re Not Being Honest)

Hate running? Then why did you set a New Year’s Resolution to run a marathon by February? Peer pressure? Trying to be “cool” in doing what your friends or coworkers are doing? Hate writing but love making videos? Then don’t set a writing goal; create a Vblog instead! You do you, or it will not be fun at all (at least until you quit).

#3 You Get The Wrong Support (Part 1)

You are excited about your New Year’s Resolution, so you share it with everyone you can, including family, friends, coworkers, and associates online. You think they will all be supportive because you’re excited about your goal, but then you find out that most of them will tell you why you can’t achieve your resolution.

These people do this for several reasons, all under the guise of loving you and wanting to keep you from the pain of failure.

#2 You Get The Wrong Support (Part 2)

You actually find some of your family and friends that don’t completely criticize your New Year’s Resolution, but when you tell them about your struggles during the process, they say such things as the following:

“Yeah, you’re right. It’s impossible not to eat carbs or sugar. I think you should just cut out desserts during lunch.”

“If you’re tired after a long day, you totally deserve to just relax. Your website/writing/blog/research can wait another few days!”

This kind of support is called nice-and-phony. They just want you to feel good, and this support is tricky because it seems like something a true friend would say. But it’s not what a real friend needs to tell you. This kind of support keeps you safe and mediocre and keeps your lack of progress from being your fault. It’s better to have someone who knows you, is aware of how important your goal is to you, and then pushes you when you start to slip instead of buying your excuses.

#1 Your Reason Isn’t BIG Enough

You think that the most important part of setting a New Year’s Resolution is picking something that feels right, but you aren’t truly connecting it with what you eventually want in your life. In the big picture of your passion and purpose, how does dropping ten pounds really make a difference in your life? If it’s just to look good for beach season or your high school reunion, then once that event is over your gains will go away.

So there you have it—the Top 10 reasons why your New Year’s Resolution achieving skills fail.

Want to go in a new direction? Just do the opposite of the above list!


Jason ‘TAKE ACTION’ Cutter has found a way to convert a winding part of life experiences into a successful coaching platform aimed at helping people overcome Analysis Paralysis in order to take action on their goals. Ultimately his vision to impact a million people to achieve their goals and live their BIG WHY! Imagine the shift in the world as more and more people get away from negativity and create ABUNDANCE! You can read more at www.coachingtoabundance.com