The Real Reason People Give Up on New Year’s Resolutions

January 23, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Real Reason People Give Up on Their New Year’s Resolutions

Discouraged by “failing” or forgetting to make progress on your New Year’s Resolution (or goals in general)? Don’t be - it happens to the best of us! In this episode, I’m covering WHY we lose steam on our resolutions and sharing a few simple yet strategic ways you can get yourself back on track.

why people give up on New Year's resolutions

Picture this…

You’ve just sat down to plan out your goals for the new year. You’re in full-on focus mode — in a quiet place, no kiddos, and your favorite cup of tea in hand. And you have nice notebooks and pens, of course (would it be a proper planning session without them?). You mean business, my friend! 

But when the new year actually starts, you’re instantly distracted by, well, just plain ol’ run-of-the-mill life living  — kids going back to school, trying to find your groove at work again, recouping from the holiday madness with a cheesy holiday rom-com binge session.

And then you realize you’ve forgotten all about your New Year’s resolutions. How frustrating! You totally meant to make progress, and the fancy pens showed how serious you were about sticking with it this time. You didn’t plan to give up on New Year’s resolutions. What happened?

Does any of this sound familiar?

Well, friend, you aren’t alone. In fact, most people give up on new year’s resolutions (or just plain forget) by January 17, which is just a little over two weeks into the year. 

But why? Why is it so common for us to do this? Well, today, we’re going to cover just that! 

The #1 reason why we give up on New Year’s resolutions so soon

You probably won’t be shocked by this but…it’s often because we don’t have a plan. We sit down, we make the resolutions, and then it just sits there collecting dust in our planners. 

Because here’s the thing — a goal is just a list if you don’t have a plan for how to start it, maintain it, and cross that finish line. It’s that simple!

I know that sometimes getting that goal written down takes a lot of work, but we can’t just assume all of the work stops there.

When you don’t plan, you kind of just kind of leaving things up to chance. But have you ever heard the phrase, “Dreams don’t work unless you do?” I know it sounds a little bit cheesy or like something that would be plastered on the walls of a high school sports locker room, but it’s a cliche because it’s true!

You don’t need to be a “planner” or consider yourself “organized” to effectively work towards your goals

I know what you’re thinking — I have to say all of this because I’m a time management coach, right? But guess what? I wasn’t always this way! I had to learn how to set better goals and create a plan to stick with them.

So, if I can do it, hopefully that cuts off the notion that you can’t ever be a planner!

3 ways to get back at it and keep on making progress

Sentiment isn’t the only thing that will help you get back on the wagon. So let’s jump into those three ways to get back on track I mentioned earlier. 

Give yourself grace

If you’re human, you’re going to make mistakes. And that’s okay. But don’t let it keep you down. Something I learned from one of my kid’s tv shows (ever heard of Bluely by the way?): Have a good cry. Stand up. Dust yourself off and get back to it. 

Figure out your priorities

Rome was not built in a day, and neither is that thing you’re working towards. It’s totally unrealistic to think that you can do it all right then and there. This is where setting SMART goals comes in handy — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Pick one thing to knock out at a time as you’re working towards that overarching goal. Little steps lead up to the big moments.

Put it in your calendar

Treat it like a doctor’s appointment. Or a deadline for work. Intentionally setting aside time for these goals is a lot more important than you might think. If it’s not visible to you (or in your calendar), you’re probably going to forget about it as life happens. 

And stick to those plans! You’re never going to get there if you don’t start treating the work that goes towards your goals as a priority!

Year-round focus on your goals — it’s not just for January! 

I know at first some of this may seem a little out of place for you, or even uncomfortable. But remember — we don’t grow unless we experience a little bit of that discomfort. Every day won’t be perfect, but as long as you stay at it, you’ll find you’re a lot more capable than you think!

And if you want some accountability doing this, then come join me inside the It’s About Time Academy.

What we discussed today is great, but there isn’t just one right answer regarding time management and carving out space for getting those goals done. And until you get crystal clear on what matters most to you, and why this goal in particular is important, you can’t start the planning process effectively. 

So in the Academy, I teach you things like, 

  • How to set yourself up for success, week after week
  • Ways to use your dreams and big ideas to create a vision for the future
  • How to prioritize and plan your day without feeling overwhelmed
  • The secret to making better decisions about how to spend your time
  • How to prioritize and plan your day without feeling overwhelmed
  • How to live with more intention and end each day feeling accomplished

If any of that sounds like something you need, you can learn more here!

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • The #1 reason why we give up on our New Year’s resolutions so quickly
  • Why you don’t need to be a “planner” or consider yourself “organized” to effectively work towards your goals
  • 3 ways to get back at it and keep making progress (because honestly, any time is a good time to start — even if that’s several months into the year).

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

My free habit tracker

It’s About Time Academy

My upcoming book — Preorder here!

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Related Episodes

Get SMART: Why Goals And Good Habits Beat New Year’s Resolutions Every Time

Don’t Make These 5 Common New Year’s Resolution Mistakes

Look Back: Why Planning Your Best Year Ever Starts In The Past

What will it take you to get from chaos to calm?

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