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Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Last ... and How to Ensure They Do!

Vesna Grubacevic21 January 2014

Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Last… and How to Ensure That They Do!

by Dr. Vesna Grubacevic

Have you kept your new year’s resolutions to lose weight, start a new job or to take action on improving your business?  Do you find yourself reneging on your resolutions days or weeks after you make them? 

Below are the five most common reasons why new year’s resolutions don’t last and how you can ensure that they do.

1.   Lack of commitment

This is by far the biggest reason for people not achieving their resolutions.  Some people say things like “it would be nice to lose weight/get a new job/improve my business” rather than make a firm commitment to do it.  Others make resolutions because their partner, friend or colleague tells them they should or have to do it.  The first step to success is to make a commitment to yourself for the right reasons.

2.   Lack of clarity

Too many people make vague resolutions eg. to lose weight, to improve their business, get a new job, etc without being specific.  If you are unclear about exactly what you want, you will attract something or someone with whom you will be unhappy.  Instead, be very specific as to what you want so that you can easily attract it.

3.   Lack of belief

Unresolved fears and self-doubts are by far the biggest saboteurs to being committed to yourself and taking action on your resolutions.   Some people fear success, others fear failure, rejection, not being good enough, etc.  Instead, address your fears and self-doubts so that you free yourself to take action towards what you really want.

4.   Lack of imagination

If you can imagine yourself achieving your resolution, you can achieve it.  It has been scientifically proven that the mind is unable to differentiate between what is vividly imagined and what is real.  Once you clarify your resolution, believe it and commit to it, then visualise success.

5.   Lack of support

Often people share their resolutions with loved ones, friends and colleagues.  Some of these people are empowering of them and support their resolutions, while others may disempower them.  Carefully choose with whom you share your resolutions so that they empower and support your success.

Transforming Resolutions into Successful Goals

While the intent of a resolution is to make a change for the better, often how resolutions are made sets people up to fail rather than to succeed.  Firstly, think about what you would like to achieve or improve in your business or life eg. make more money, lose weight, have a new job.  Take a moment now to write this down.

Next, use the SMART principles below to turn this into a goal.  Below, I have used a weight goal as an example to assist you with your own goals.

Specific and Simple

Write your goal in a single sentence, specifically stating what you want.  Avoid being vague eg. to lose weight.  Instead say what you want to achieve eg. I weigh 70 kilos.  People who set goals to lose weight usually put on weight.


The only way you will know that you have successfully achieved your goal is if you can measure it.  How will you measure the success of your goal?  For example, standing on the scales and seeing the target weight, fitting into smaller size pants, etc.

As if now

Make sure that your goal is written in the present tense (eg. I am, I now) rather than the future tense (eg. I will, I want to).  Goals stated in the future tense never come, they are always in the future.  To build your motivation to take action towards your goals, visualise your goals so you feel that you have already achieved them. 


When you set a goal make sure that it is also achievable and realistic.  If you set a goal which is unrealistic you are setting yourself up for failure before your begin.  While anything is possible if you believe in yourself, you also want to allow yourself enough time to take action on your goal.

Time frame

If you state what you want without a time frame eg. one day I will reach my goal weight, it makes it difficult to achieve as your mind needs a target date to work towards.  Pick a specific date by when you want to achieve your goal and make sure the date is realistic, safe and sustainable.

Your SMART Goal

Keeping in mind all the SMART criteria above, now write out your goal.  For example, “It is 30th June 2014 and I now weigh 70 kilos.”  Notice that this goal is specific as to date and weight, it is a simple sentence, it is measurable, it is in the present tense, and we will assume it is realistic for the person.

Finally, make sure that you truly believe in your goal, visualise it being a success and then take action towards it.  Imagine looking back on the year and seeing all you have accomplished in your business and life.  How much more fulfilled would you feel?


Dr. Vesna Grubacevic is the Founding Director and Performance Transformation Expert™ with award-winning company, Qt.  She is the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques, holds a PhD, a BEc and has over 30 years’ business experience, including working directly with CEOs, senior executives and their teams to assist them to create exceptional results.  For more techniques on how to achieve all your goals and for your FREE gifts, visit today.

Ó Qt, 2000 – 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

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