How to keep New Year’s resolutions

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to keep New Year’s resolutions

Every New Year lots of people make promises to themselves and do their best to keep them but studies have shown that most people fail to keep New Year’s resolutions.

Why do most New Year resolutions fail?
Why can’t someone keep a promise that he gave to himself?
Why can’t a person stick to something that is very important to his well being?
Why do people fail to stick to very simple tasks such as running 15 minutes a day?

In this article I will tell you the secret behind the failure of New Year’s promises and I will tell you how to keep New Year resolutions throughout the year.

Why do most new year resolutions fail

In order to know how to keep New Year’s resolutions you must first know why people fail to keep them. Here is a list of the reasons:

  • The Goal was chosen because of peer pressure: Lots of people choose goals because of the pressure exerted on them by their peers. Some people want to exercise because they saw their friends exercising or because someone kept pushing them to do so. (See how peer pressure affects you)
  • The subconscious mind isn’t convinced: Lots of people want to make changes to their lives but a part of them may be resisting the change. For example a person might want to wake up early but deep inside him there is a part that enjoys staying up late. Unless this part is dealt with he will never manage to sleep early
  • The promise involves changing a symptom not a cause: A person might promise himself to stop overeating without knowing that the main reason he eats a lot is the emotional turbulence he suffers from. If that person eats when he becomes depressed or stressed then his goal should be modified to helping himself deal with these root causes instead of dealing with the symptoms.
  • Not understanding his unmet needs: unmet needs are usually the main driving forces behind our actions. In my book The ultimate guide to break any bad habit i said that If you have a certain unmet need that you are satisfying through a certain behavior then unless you find an alternative way to satisfy this unmet need you won’t be able to get rid of the behavior. For example some people smoke to feel in control, if they didn’t find another way to feel in control then they will never be able to quit smoking
  • Loss of hope: Loss of hope is one of the most common reasons for failing to commit to new Year’s resolutions. When the progress appears to be insufficient after a certain amount of time has passed the person losses hope and stops trying
  • Not understanding that they don’t have to make it from the first try: If a person decided that he won’t drink in the new year then did it once he might lose hope and think that he failed!!

How to stick to New Year’s resolutions and keep them

After you understood the main reasons behind the failure of New Year’s resolutions here is a quick plan that can help you avoid those reasons:

  • Set goals that you really want to achieve: Choose a Goal that you really want instead of a one that is based on friends expectations
  • Resolve inner conflict: Learn how to convince all parts of your subconscious mind with the new Year's resolution. This can be achieved by getting a deeper understanding of your conflicting needs then taking a conscious decision that helps you make a compromise (see Becoming happier by understanding your unmet needs)
  • Differentiate between symptoms and root causes: If you lose your temper because of feelings of resentment that results from jealousy then dealing with jealousy should be your goal and not anger management
  • Understand your unmet needs and provide alternative ways for meeting them: If you are an internet addict who wishes to reduce the use of computers then fix your social life first if socializing was the reason you overuse the internet
  • You might fail many times before you succeed: Don’t put high hopes by thinking that you will succeeded from the first attempt else your new year's resolutions will fail

In short keeping New year’s resolutions is all about getting a deep understanding of your behavior and needs then setting them in the light of this information.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself. The book The ultimate guide to breaking bad habits was released by 2knowmyself. The book will help you get over all bad habits that are haunting you in a short period of time.

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