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Why Your New Year’s Resolution Won’t Work [& What Will Work]

You’re not alone…

More than 90% of New Year’s Resolutions end in failure.

Think about that: You have less than a 1 in 10 chance of success — a lottery ticket might be a safer investment than another resolution this year.

The truth is stamping the New Year’s Resolution label on another lofty goal is the equivalent to giving that goal an immediate death sentence.

By transforming your goal into a resolution, you’re handing it a one-way ticket to the graveyard with your New Year’s Resolutions of yesteryear (#RIP).

If your resolution is somehow still intact come March, that’s some serious overachieving: 80% of resolutions are already out the window by the second week of February.

And if you’re doing the math, that means less than half of the 20% of resolutions still barely hanging on in February will be donezo well before the year ends…


I know I’m coming off as negative (and as a total numbers nerd), but my goal is to give you a dose of reality so you actually use the tips in this blog to finally reach your resolutions.

Keep reading to find out where you’re going wrong with your resolutions and what you need to do to flip the script this year.


Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Before I reveal our secret strategies to help you nail this year’s New Year’s Resolutions, let me show you exactly what you’re doing wrong.

If you’ve already started scribbling down resolutions on paper, crafting a post to share on social media, or tossing around ideas in your head or with your significant other, hold up...

Take a few seconds to get familiar with the most common resolution-related failures below so you can side-step these pitfalls:


  • You have too many resolutions. Doing this, that, and the other thing is a recipe to go 0 for 3. Or perhaps in your case, 0 for 25. Your brain can’t defy science, and science tells us we’re no good at multitasking. When it comes to resolutions, less is always more.
  • Your resolution is broad. Goals like “exercise more,” “lose weight,” and “eat more home-cooked meals” won’t get you anywhere. The broader your resolution is, the less likely you are to achieve it. Don’t worry — we’ll get clear on your resolution in a bit. Just remember: Broad is bad.
  • You don’t have a plan. Unfortunately, the holiday hustle means the new year creeps up on you out of nowhere. Last minute, you’re tossing together a resolution that sounds great without any kind of plan to get you there. That’s like trying to build a house without a blueprint — no bueno.
  • You shoot for the moon. Gargantuan goals are hard to deliver on. But we all swing for the fences when the calendar year turns. Getting on base is a better bet than gunning for a home run. You should keep that ultimate goal you’re tied to. However, we’ll talk micro-goals to get you there in just a minute. 
  • You’re thinking 12 months from now. Yes, the idea of the New Year’s Resolution is to give yourself something to work on for 12 months. But let me ask you this: When’s the last time you committed to something — anything — for 12 months straight? Crickets… That’s what I thought. Thinking a year ahead is putting the cart miles ahead of the horse.
  • You don’t set yourself up for success. You’re going to wake up early this year to hit the gym … but you’ve never been able to get up early before. So, you’re telling yourself the brand new number at the end of the calendar year is suddenly going to ensure you hop out of bed before the sun comes up? It’s gonna take more than that for you to have any shot at success.
  • You don’t have the right support system. Your Facebook followers and Instagram audience don’t count (sorry). You are who you surround yourself with, and unless you get around people who have similar goals as you and invest in expert to coach you up, you won’t have the support and expertise to survive the 12-month journey. 
  • Resolutions promote procrastination. Some sort of sorcery happens on January 1st. Apparently on that day, we suddenly have the ability to take on the world and truly dominate the next 365 days. But until that day hits, a few extra drinks and Christmas cookies aren’t hurting anybody, right? Wrong. Couple that procrastination with the holiday hangover and it’s going to be awhile until you finally get going on your goals.


How to Actually Achieve Your Resolutions This Year

Don’t assume you’re suddenly going to trade House of Cards from the comforts of your couch for a 60-minute sweat session at the gym every night. Instead, set yourself up for success.

  • Get ultra-clear on one resolution. Pick one (yes, one) resolution. That’s it. Then, drill down further on that goal. Get as specific as possible with what you want to achieve. A telltale sign you’re doing it right is if there are numbers and dates tied to your resolution.
  • Develop a plan. Start writing down how you’re actually going to achieve that goal. I like to do this by reverse-engineering the resolution. Go deep. The more you put down, the better.
  • Set micro-goals and start small. Chunk your big goal into smaller goals. Those goals should lead you right to your resolution, one step at a time.
  • Think in short-term time blocks. Assign deadlines to those short-term, micro-goals you just developed. Chunk them into 1-week, 1-month, and 3-month goals.
  • Nail your environment. If you’re going to eat healthy, toss out the junk food. If you’re going to exercise in the morning, sleep in your gym clothes. If you’re going to start waking up early, put the alarm on the other side of the room. You get the idea. Make it easier on yourself.
  • Get support. Surround yourself with the right people. Hire a coach, grab an accountability buddy, join a fitness program (that’s guaranteed to surround you with the right people). Do what it takes to get the help you need.
  • Start now. Stop the procrastination and get going. Seriously! Keep scrolling to make the commitment right here, right now.


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