Why Does A New Year’s Resolutions Go Horribly Wrong?

In 2011, we launched the New Year’s resolutions process. Over the past year we’ve seen our resolutions yield nothing, some even get worse.

You are a pretty good deal hunter, aren’t you? And I’m willing to bet that you’re always willing to try new things. And if you like to keep learning, you will keep learning — sometimes more than you would have ever thought possible. You will keep changing things, trying different things, trying to make things better.

Now that you have learned a little bit about the system, let me explain why a lot of us end up failing to achieve our resolutions, but more importantly, why it’s important to keep trying.

At Heart

A yearbook photo of young people, in what would be considered a pretty typical New Year’s resolution.

The system looks a little different for every person. So let’s start by talking about some of the elements of how the New Year’s resolutions process works, as a basis for discussion. We’ll use our own sample case as an example.

At the heart of the New Year’s resolutions process is a group of people, a group of adults, the adults who are setting the goals and trying to be part of the new year. There are different kinds of people making an individual resolution. Sometimes, just being aware of the process is all that’s needed to know that one is setting a resolution, or has already set one, such as the New Year’s resolution team at the New Year’s event. This is often a group of friends, like a parent, a coach, a teacher.

If that’s the case, there are probably a small number of adults who haven’t had any experience setting a resolution, or don’t really know what it is, as a result. In these cases, New Year’s intentions can get more complicated. So if you are a little unclear from the start, it might be wise to seek assistance. If you do decide to do it yourself, I would recommend using your parents, coach, or teacher as a sounding board.

Some people think that if you are on New Year’s resolutions, you are doing something stupid or that you are a lazy slob. But for the most part, I feel that most people are fairly sensible, and understand why we are in this process. Most of us are trying to make this year better, to do better on it, to be better people as a result.

The resolution is a small part of the solution.

You have to remember that the resolution is only a part of the solution. The resolution is part of the process — it gives us something to focus on, and a goal or a way to measure progress toward that goal. But the resolution is not the solution itself.

For example, most of us have good intentions. It takes hard work. And when it comes time to set the new year’s resolutions, there are a few things we might do differently. Our goal of being better at doing the things we enjoy doing is important, and we want to make it stronger and more consistent. So we may need to set those new resolutions in a different direction, or with new goals.

Achieving a resolution can get more complex as the system starts to grow. But before we reach that point, we need to be aware that if we don’t understand this process, most of us are probably missing an important part.

One of the goals of this series is to explore how you and I can improve our lives. And this article is another step in that process.