5 Reasons You’re Destine to Fail at Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Denise CooperAchieving Goals, Career Success, Success TipsLeave a Comment

Success and Failure Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

The numbers don’t bode well for most people.  By the time you read this post nearly one-third of you will have already failed at keeping your New Year’s Resolution.




45% of us will make New Year’s Resolutions or goals

Only 8% will successfully achieve their New Years’ Resolutions or goals.

 Of the 45% who will make a New Year’s Resolution:

71% will stay with them for two weeks

64% will stay with them for four weeks

46% will stay with them for 6 months and then the percentage continues to drop until it stabilizes at about 8% around 9 months.

Here are 5 reasons you’re having such a hard time.

  1. You’re interested but not committed –We know it is the right thing to lose weight, eat right, and reduce our stress.  That’s our head talking.  But our heart and behavior is always aligned according to our hierarchy of values. If you’re not making progress on your goals then look at what you value most.  Chances are what’s getting in the way is something you value more than these resolutions.
  2. Google my way to success – I love Google or should I say my search capabilities.  Within a matter of minutes I can find the answer to almost any question.  Let’s face it. We’re time challenged and the beauty of Google is it gives us tips.  Fast tips eliminate the immediate pain but they don’t solve the root cause. When the blockage occurs again creates a cycle of failure.  Figuring out the root cause and imbedding new habits take time but most of us want quick fixes.
  3. Excuses Rule or Mindset Really Does Matter.  We now have pretty conclusive evidence that your mindset (what you believe about your abilities) matters. So if you’ve tried before and failed then you’re likely going to fail again unless you change your  mindset. Want to hear a funny and insightful 15 minute talk on Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career by Larry Smith click here.
  4. Focused on weaknesses –Nearly 80 years of research by Donald Clifton, PhD  conclusively proves focusing on our weaknesses doesn’t benefit us nearly as much as focusing on our natural talents and get better at those traits, skills and abilities. I advise my clients and anyone who attends my speeches to focus on your strengths; identify and compensate for weaknesses and understand under what circumstances your strengths kill your ability to perform well.
  5. Goals are written to fail – Most of us have heard about S.M.A.R.T. goals and if you work for a major company then this is the time you’re writing out your goals. Researcher Heidi Grant Halvorson PhD professor at Columbia Business School’s Motivation Science Center wrote a post called Nine Things Successful People Do Differently.  Her research pinpoints why writing S.M.A.R.T goals is a trap.  Turns out the way we write S.M.A.R.T. goals focus’ us on the wrong things and creates roadblocks to success.

So here’s one way to figure out what you need to work on.  Heidi Grant Halvorson has a quick assessment that will pinpoint what you need to do to increase your success rate.  It’s called the Nine Things Diagnostic and you can take it for free.

Last week, I asked you to forward my post to a friend, talk to them about joining you on this journey and share your thoughts with them.  Now take the diagnostic and share the results with your accountability partner.

Record the answer to these questions and share it with your partner (and me).    I’d love to hear from you as your thoughts will help me form the foundation for next week’s post.

  • What decision(s) can you make that would have the greatest impact on your success?
  • What do you want to work on for 2014? 
  • What stops you from fully committing to achieving your 2014 goals?
  • What actions are you willing to take that will move you closer to your achieving your New Year’s Resolution/goals in 2014?

Post in the comment section below or send me an email with your grades on the nine areas.


Denise Cooper Headshot, 300x395

“Denise Cooper is a reinvention strategist and success coach at CoachHR.  She works with people who have lost their mojo – that wonderful feeling of success that comes from doing what you love to do.

In transition and can’t nail that right job?
Tired of feeling unfilled at work, facing what seems like an unmanageable challenge or got a habit that’s blocking you from achieving the next level of success?
Want to increase your performance and that of your organization by 40%?

Contact Denise at denise@coachhr.com to schedule time to discuss your personalized course for success.”

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