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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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10 Reasons Why Resolutions Fail

If you haven't had success with New Year's goal setting in the past, you're not alone. Surveys show an eight percent success rate for those making resolutions.

Nearly half of the people have given up on resolutions by the end of January. It seems that people want to make changes, but the changes just don't stick.

Below are the top ten reasons that people fail when making resolutions.

1. Selecting goals out of obligation not inspiration. Have you ever chosen a goal because your boss, your spouse, or your friend thinks you should. Forget it! Unless you are inspired to make a change, you're not going to invest in "should" goals. Instead, find something that inspires you.

2. Limiting thinking to life change versus life creation. We've already talked about being inspired by your goal. This doesn't happen when you just focus on changing what you're doing wrong. Most everyone knows that they should get out of debt, stop smoking and get off the couch.

The reason people don't achieve these changes is that they are focusing on the negative. Focus on the life you desire to create versus the negative habit you want to stomp out. For example, instead of setting a goal of getting out of debt, decide to create a net worth of $100,000, $1 million or $5 million.

3. Not shifting the mindset to embrace the change. I believe the number one predictor of success is that your mindset matches the life you desire to create. The mindset that created obesity needs to shift before you can become the person of a healthy weight. Change doesn't happen on the outside without a change on the inside. Techniques such as visualization and affirmations can help you make the shift.

4. Failure to write goals down. If you keep your goals in your head, they are fantasies that you might or might not do someday. Thoughts turned into words become deeds.

5. Not creating a specific plan. Writing down a goal isn't enough. A plan of action will help you keep on track. What will you do when? How will you measure progress? What do you need to learn to be successful?

6. Letting ordinary life monopolize your time. It can be easy to let the activities of daily life interfere with your goals. For example, if your goal is becoming physically fit, you may all of a sudden think that you need to abandon your exercise time and instead use the time for shopping or housecleaning. Don't let the practical excuses interfere with your goal work.

7. Trying to make a change without any support. You need people in your life who can help you achieve your goal. Remember, you don't need to figure it out on your own. Find someone who can show you the way and also provide support as you make the shift.

8. Letting the doubts drown out the inspiration. It's going to happen. You will have that negative voice that crops up once in a while asking you such questions as: Why you are wasting your time? Who do you think you are? Why do you want to make this change anyway? You need to be prepared for these negative thoughts by having some responses to answer the doubts.

9. Spending time with people who support your old ways. Birds of a feather DO flock together. At some level, you associate with the people you do because they support your act. When you decide to set new goals for yourself, the people closest to you may feel threatened and try to discourage your change. Try to limit your time with the naysayers when you first start making your shift.

10. Not celebrating success along the way. Congratulate yourself for your small achievements. You are making changes that will culminate into a different way of being.

[Source:, by Nancy Brook]

Nancy Brook is an award-winning speaker, author and goal-setting junky. She is launching her first book, “Cycling, Wine and Men: A Midlife Tour de France.” Find out more about Nancy at

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