6 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail (and What To Do Instead)
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we’re often running out the gate with high hopes and expectations for the year ahead, only to come to a screeching halt once we find that we’ve fallen off the wagon. And, when failure happens, we’re likely to throw in the towel altogether. And, the statistics aren’t any better. In fact, they show that only 9.2% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. But why is it that most resolutions fail? I’ve rounded up the top 6 reasons New Year’s resolutions fail, with solutions on how you can combat each one.
1. You get discouraged easily
We often set ourselves up for failure by expecting change to happen quickly, and when it doesn’t, we just give up. Whether you’re changing your diet for weight loss or changing it to heal your gut issues, remember it’s going to take time to see results. Make sure you’re setting realistic expectations and don’t give up too soon or you’ll never see results. Take the time to write each down and consider realistically how long it will take to achieve each goal.
2. You give up the moment you fail
Everyone knows that change isn’t easy, but yet when we want to make big changes in our lives, we expect that we have to be perfect from 1st January onwards. But the truth of the matter is, there will likely be many roadblocks along the way. Making mistakes is 100% normal, and even expected. A perfectionist mindset won’t see you through until the end, and you’re likely to have many failures, so why not plan ahead for them?
It’s like a toddler first learning to walk. If the toddler falls, he doesn’t think to himself, “Walking is just too hard. I give up.” No, he gets up and tries again, and again, and again, until weeks or months later, he finally learns to walk. And, the same goes for you. Rather than letting your “failures” derail your efforts completely, you need to take the time to learn from them.
Ask yourself, “What went wrong there? What thoughts or behaviours led to this unwanted result?” Remember, if you always give up on yourself, you’ll never achieve the result you want. Don’t give up so soon and make sure you have a plan in place for when you do fail. What can you do again to make sure it doesn’t happen? Don’t beat yourself up, just take the lesson and use it as data for the future.
“Successful people don’t fear failure, but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.”
3. You’ve run out of willpower
When you think of people in your life that have met their goals, it’s likely you associate that person with having a lot of willpower. But when people ask themselves why they didn’t follow through with lifestyle changes, many people blame lack of self-control. Studies have shown that people who claim they have self-discipline don’t actually rely on willpower. In fact, they just avoid situations that require them to use it entirely. In other words, instead of white-knuckling through moments where they are tempted by ice cream or alcohol, they just don’t keep it around so they aren’t tempted.
Studies back up the idea that “willpower is a limited resource” citing that when people do need to tap into willpower, there’s no proof that they are more likely to reach their goals compared to people who don’t exert willpower. According to this study, the people who used more willpower reported that they were exhausted from it. So, the big takeaway: don’t white-knuckle, just avoid putting yourself in situations where you’ll be tempted because this will lead you to more success overall.
4. You try to make big changes or too many changes at once
The problem with this is that it’s usually unrealistic to make big changes at a moment’s notice. If you want a better chance at sticking with the change, try breaking your goal up into smaller, more achievable goals. Then, you don’t even need to worry about relying so much on willpower.
For instance, if your goal is to eat 100% compliant with the SIBO Bi Phasic Diet, you can start by making small steps towards that goal. For instance, for the first week, you could remove dairy, the following week remove gluten, the third week remove all grains, the fourth week remove alcohol, and then gradually start phasing out high and moderate FODMAP fruits and veggies until you reach your goal.
The number of goals you make can also be overwhelming. You may have gotten fired up at the beginning of the New Year with wanting to lose weight, start lifting weights, get out of debt, improve your marriage, begin a meditation practice, and on and on. I get it: new year, new you! It’s ambitious of you (and totally achievable, but not all at once). To avoid total burnout, it’s best to focus on one or two goals at a time, and work on that goal before moving onto the next.
Narrowing the lens and breaking apart your goals into smaller steps are sure to put you on the road to success.
5. You haven’t made your goals clear enough
Having goals on their own isn’t enough. Knowing why your goals are meaningful to you is just as important as the goals themselves. If the reasons behind your goals are vague, when things get tough, you’re not going to be as committed to sticking to your guns and riding it through until the end.
Take the time to sit down, journal and dig deep to find out what is it about your goals that motivates you to want to make a change. How do you envision your life changing for the better? If you accomplish your goals, where will you be in 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year from now? How will the goal, once achieved, make you feel? The key is to tap into your future self and where you want to be, then consider the steps you need to actively get there.
6. You don’t have the proper resources in place
You know exactly what you want to achieve, but every time you set out to do it, you fail over and over again. If I had a dollar for every time this happened to me, I’d be rich! The thing is, sometimes we want to achieve a goal, or need to for our health, but for whatever reason, we just cannot stick to it.
Bad habits are patterns that are deeply ingrained, and difficult to reverse. If you feel yourself struggling and unable to meet your goal no matter what you do or how many times you tell yourself that “tomorrow will be different,” it may be time to consider outside support.
Having a healthy mindset is key, but retraining your thoughts is tough work. If you haven’t rewired your neural pathways yet to overcome the challenges when it comes to making big changes in your life, when things get tough it will be easier to revert back to old patterns. This is where the role of a coach or support group can be helpful.
Support can come in many forms, whether that’s support groups that meet in person, on Facebook or in an online forum, group coaching programs or a personal one-on-one coach. When it comes to SIBO, it can often feel isolating and lonely, and working with another person who gets where you’re coming from can feel like such a relief.
SIBO Support. My New SIBO Coaching Program
This is why I’ve developed a brand new SIBO membership program. Similar to my coaching program, the membership program is bigger and better! It covers a wide range of topics, including everything you need to know about SIBO to how to make changes to your diet, but rather than meeting weekly you’ll be able to complete modules at your own pace. I also offer one-on-one coaching for anyone who is looking for a more hands-on approach. If you’re ready to take control of your health and happiness in 2019, and need extra support, the SIBO membership program is just for you. It launches early February. Want to learn more about it? Register your interest here.
What are your goals for 2019?
When it comes to your health and your SIBO treatment, what is the #1 goal you’d really like to achieve this year? Head to the comments below and let me know. I’d love to see where I can support you most this year. And, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of further assistance.
Feeling Overwhelmed with SIBO?
I know exactly how it feels. I suffered in silence for decades before finally discovering I had SIBO all along. Today, I work with people just like you, helping them to live well with SIBO, eat delicious food no matter what diet protocol they are following and feel empowered about their condition.
My new SIBO Support coaching program launches in early February. Interested to know more about it? Register your interest today.