Unfinished Business

With the New Year here, I got to thinking about all the New Year’s Resolutions that I and millions of others have made over the years that never got completed and sometimes never even got out of the gate. Unfinished business!

I’ve heard that success is nine-tenths preparation, so I thought it might be useful to see what goes wrong so we can avoid it this time and thus prepare ourselves to achieve brilliant success!

10 Reasons Resolutions Can Fail

  1. The list is too long. You can overwhelm yourself with too many seemingly impossible things to accomplish in a short time. You could make a shorter list of the most important or most do-able things and then work to get them done by July 1st. Now, make July 1st be “The Second Half of the New Year” and set a new bunch of resolutions to be done by December 31st. Just a thought … breaking large things down into smaller, more confrontable packages is often very helpful.
  2. You tried to do the hardest thing on the list first, failed, got bummed and the rest is … unfinished business. The answer in this case is to take the easiest thing on the list and get it done, then take the next easiest … etc. By the time you get to the hardest item on the list, you have built up a head of steam and are in better shape to tackle it. More chance of success.
  3. No deadlines and timelines have been set by which to have the specific items completed by. Or they were too aggressively or unrealistically set and you gave yourself a loss by not meeting them and then gave up.
  4. Maybe you had no real strong intention to get one or more of the resolutions done. You SAY you want to quit smoking but … not really. Don’t put anything on the list unless you REALLY do want to accomplish it.
  5. For some wish list items, you may need to do a little research to learn how to do it. As an example, you resolved to clean your garage and paint the floor. But, you don’t know what kind of paint, undercoating, topcoating, etc. would be suitable.
  6. Maybe someone who knows what’s on your list squashed your idea and you gave in to that outside pressure. Really…?
  7. You have something you have wanted to accomplish that’s been on your list every year and still not done, such as losing 20 lbs. You’ve gotten so accustomed to failing to achieve this goal that you feel hopeless about putting it on the list again. So what to do…? First, reevaluate the importance to you of accomplishing that goal. If it is important, make a sufficiently extravagant reward for yourself WHEN you have done it that is greater that outweighs what you are going to have to go through to get the goal done. Also, you could find a coach or a friend with a similar goal and  pair up.
  8. Back to prizes or rewards, it is very important to celebrate the milestones of achievement when you tick things off on your list.
  9. Proper planning on each item was not done. Many people fail through lack of proper planning of the details of the specific items, including overcoming possible barriers, not setting timelines, figuring out what resources will be needed (time, people, money), etc. Make a project for any of the bigger items on your list and work to get them done.
  10. Here’s the biggie: YOU DIDN’T EVEN MAKE ANY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!!!! This is probably because of one or more of the above problems. However, to push your life in the direction you want it to go, you need to set up your goals.

So make your New Year’s Resolutions and give your dreams the wings to fly!

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