Why You Have Been Doing New Year’s Resolution Wrong All These Years

Every time the clock strikes midnight on the 31st of December, many people jump for joy as they feel a rush of excitement run through their bodies because only during this time of the year does it hold such promise for a fresh new start.

The feeling that no matter what happened in the past year we can now make amends, renew our determination and prepare ourselves for a brand new year.

Filled with this sense of purpose many people tend to sit down by themselves or with friends and family on New Year’s Day to write out resolutions that will ultimately be a guide for the rest of the months to follow.

However, the reality is that 80% of these resolutions tend to fail and each year time and time again we optimistically rewrite the same resolution that we have failed to accomplish the year before.

(Image from 9gag.com)

After being in an endless cycle of renewing the same resolutions each year we find ourselves asking this question; are we as individuals simply incapable to sticking to our resolutions?

If that is the case then why then do we stubbornly make the same ones each year?

We as individuals are very capable at achieving things that we have put our minds to and that is a fact, but our minds and to a greater extend our will power will only allow ourselves to focus on small bite sized pieces of information at a time.

How to achieve your goals this New Year? Here are 3 simple tips you can take:

1. Break down your tasks​

This year instead of having a long vague list of resolutions we want to keep, we should instead try to have a resolution for every quarter of the year to better break down a large task into smaller bite sized pieces to focus better.

Weight loss

(Image from makeusof.com)

For example if the main resolution is to lose weight simply writing down losing weight will not cut it anymore.

This year we shall try to go jogging one kilometer every morning at 6am for the first quarter then slowly increasing it to two kilometers then four then five.

By breaking down one large task this way, it helps our brains process it better thus being able to stick to it a whole lot easier.

We like to use what we call an Action List (an activity extracted from Thriving Goals Journal) and found it to be really effective in planning out steps to achieve a certain goal.

10 Steps to use an Action List


1. Brainstorm for ways to achieve each goal as well as what it takes to achieve each goal. List each and every step down on a piece of paper, no matter how big or small they are. Make sure your list is thorough. We call this a Brain Dump Session.

2. Circle any item that must be addressed this week

3. Put a star on any item(s) that must be done today

4. Everything else that does not fall into the “Done Today" category will fall into the “Soon” category.

5. Write your Goal at the top of the Action List page.

6. Write down the Week that you are beginning your goal.

7. Write down the starred and circled items into the Action List.

8. Keep your action list close with you all the time. Make sure it is somewhere convenient. Remember to check your list several times in a day.

9. Continue to add to your list. Add two small steps every day that move you towards achieving each of your goals.

10. At the end of the day, tick off items you have completed.

Download ACTION LIST Worksheet

Download the same weekly Action List Worksheet that we use to help us achieve our goals

Action list template

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2. Get an accountability partner

Other than breaking down our resolutions, another thing that we should try would be to get an accountability partner to hold us accountable for our progress and perseverance to sticking to this resolution.

We shouldn’t just stop at telling our accountability partner what we have accomplished but make our accountability partner a part of the process in getting to our goals.

This makes us feel a heightened sense of responsibility thus motivating us higher to want to achieve that resolution.

An example would be that if our resolution is to go jogging every morning at 6am, we make our accountability partner also go jogging at 6am at the pre-determined place.

Knowing that we would have to get up earlier to make the appointment or our friend would be left to jog alone would help give us that extra push in getting out of bed and going for that jog every morning.

3. Keep an Achievement Journal

Lastly, keep an achievement journal. Record down not only the progress we’ve made each day but also the days where we’ve failed to keep to our resolution as a reminder to ourselves to keep going and as a good way to reflect.

This gives us an extra boost and rush of excitement when we see how far we’ve come since we first started and if we haven’t achieved as much as we would have liked then it gives us that extra motivation to want to get back onto the right track.

At Thriving Talents, each member uses the Thriving Goals Journal to help us achieve our #1 goal of the quarter. 

It incorporates all the elements mentioned in this article to help you focus on that one goal.

If you are interested to find out more about the Thriving Goals Journal, check it out here.

Download ACTION LIST Worksheet

Download the same weekly Action List Worksheet that we use to help us achieve our goals

Action list template

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About the Author

Elisha Yeo is a part of the Thriving Talents team and leads content creation. She hopes to inspire the world through thoughtful insights, a sarcastic wit and a heart of tainted gold. If you find her articles interesting or would like to help her become a better thought initiator, don't be shy and say hi at whatsup@thrivingtalents.com

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