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The Top 5 Reasons Resolutions Fail

By Jillian Broaddus and Chuck Cusumano



No matter the exact year, the New Year always brings a few guaranteed things – cold, dark, and windy January days; overcrowded gyms; and a sort of “holiday hangover” that can make getting back into the swing of work and life a bit of an uphill battle until Super Bowl Sunday.


However, the New Year also brings an unmistakable energy, unmatched by any other month of the year. It bestows a magical sense of opportunity, a promise of prospects, and an almost-tangible cloud of hope filling the air. It’s the time of resolutions, fresh beginnings, and optimistic plans.


However, by now – a little more than one week into 2023 – can you still say you feel that same energy, sense that promise, and can harness that hope? If not, you’re not alone – in fact, it’s estimated that nearly one-quarter of goal-setters will give up their resolution within one week, and less than 10% will successfully keep their resolution until year’s end.


Whether you find yourself in the 10% or the 90%, this sentiment probably isn’t too foreign to any of us. Everyone is familiar with the feeling of an abandoned project, after beginning it with so much gusto; anybody can relate to a failed initiative that started with the best of intentions; and most of us can certainly admit to a failed diet, workout plan, or training regime when faced with the old, friendly foes of sweet treats and a comfy couch.


So, what can each of us do to flip the statistics and come out on top? What are the steps we can take to set ourselves up for success? What can be done to ensure a successful New Year’s resolution so we can proudly enter 2024 in the 10% of goal-keepers?


Learning how to succeed begins with knowing how we fail. In other words, the answers to these questions come in identifying the top reasons resolutions are abandoned. Here’s what studies have proven as the most common hindrances to achievement:


  • Timing: Are you truly ready to set the goal you have in mind, or are you rushing the resolution solely because of the date on your calendar? For example, if your goal is to run a marathon in 2023, but your first quarter of the year is jam-packed with work deadlines, travel, and family obligations, perhaps your resolution to train is best offset until the start of spring! The number one reason resolutions fail is due to timing, so make sure the clock is on your side before you embark on a goal!

  • Lost Motivation: More than one-third of goal-setters (35%) attribute losing motivation as their top reason for giving up. So, how can you stay motivated through a long-term goal? Set check-ins and rewards along the way! Break your achievement into bite-sized accomplishments, and celebrate throughout your journey to the finish line.

  • Low Willpower: Along with a loss of motivation, a low sense of willpower can be attributed to the downfall of many. Two fixes for low willpower? Preventive measures and social support. Preventively, don’t give your willpower muscle the opportunity to even be flexed! For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, don’t buy the sweet treat at the grocery store; better yet, don’t even walk down the junk food aisle! That way, your willpower won’t be tested when you’re at home on the couch, looking for a midnight snack. And, secondly, involve others in your goals and benchmarks. The encouragement and accountability that comes from a partner is invaluable when it comes to long-term success!

  • Busyness: We get it – we’re all busy! The busyness of the holidays only continues this time of year, and overflowing calendars seem to be more “the norm” than the anomaly in a remote-work world. However, your calendar highlights your priorities, and if you want to prove successful in your resolution, start by focusing on where your time goes. A one-hour workout is only 4% of your day, and the average person spends 2.5 hours per day on social media alone, so there are really no excuses when it comes to reorganizing your priorities!

  • Resiliency: Even those who are successful in accomplishing their resolutions are reported to experience an average of 14 setbacks in their pursuit. Therefore, resiliency and the ability to overcome impediments in progress isn’t only important; it’s paramount!


How can we help you accomplish your goals this coming year? We’d love to help offer social support, a willpower boost, or help with a calendar audit so you can find success in 2023! Just reach out to us at hello@thejoshuagroupconsulting.com.

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