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7 Reasons Why New Year's Resolutions Fail ---and How to Make Yours Stick

It's that time of the year again. When we assess the year that has been and envision the year that is about to come. It's no wonder then that most folks like to make New Year's Resolutions during this time. And while any day is as good as any to make important changes in our lives, a changing calendar can indeed create momentum.

First off, what is a New Year's Resolution?

A New Year's Resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, achieve a personal goal, or improve their life in some way. This typically involves setting specific goals at the beginning of the year, often related to health, finance, relationships, or personal development. Common resolutions might include things like exercising more, eating healthier, saving money, learning a new skill, or spending more time with family. The idea is to use the turning of the calendar year as a fresh start to make positive changes in one's life.

New Year's Resolutions are notorious for failing. In fact, it has become a running joke that folks tend to have the same resolutions year in and year out. Research shows that 23% of people quit their resolution by the end of the first week of the year, and 43% quit by the end of January!

But failure is not a given. It is important to avoid common pitfalls when making any goal towards personal development.

Consider the following reasons why New Year's resolutions fail, and how to overcome them.

  1. Unrealistic expectations: Setting overly ambitious or vague goals can set you up for failure.

  2. Lack of planning: Many people make resolutions without a concrete plan for how to achieve them. They rely on mere willpower but since change is inherently challenging, you cannot just rely on resolve. Waypower is as important as willpower.

  3. Lack of accountability: Without a support system or someone to hold you accountable, it can be easy to give up on your resolutions when faced with challenges.

  4. Too many resolutions: Trying to make too many changes at once can be overwhelming.

  5. Not believing in the goal: If you're not fully committed to your resolution, it's more likely to fail.

  6. All-or-nothing mindset: Many people see setbacks as failure and give up entirely.

  7. Your environment sets you up to fail: The people around you, your surroundings, and your daily routine all reinforce the status quo.

By understanding these potential pitfalls, you can approach your resolutions in a way that sets you up for success.

Ultimately, the key is to be patient and persistent. Good luck!

Do you need help in crafting and sticking to your New Year's Resolutions? You can set an appointment with CPPS counselors, and we can help you identify your personal development goals and craft a plan towards them. CPPS has both online and in-person sessions. To book a schedule, message us at

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