Why do most new year’s resolutions fail?

Every year, on January 1st, a very interesting and strange phenomenon happens all around the world.  While we are celebrating the arrival of the new year, most of us also making new years resolutions, to change some aspect of our lives.  A majority of the new year’s resolutions fall into one of the following categories (in no particular order) –


  • Improve health – Lose weight, exercise more, get fit, get six pack abs, quit smoking, reduce drinking etc.
  • Enjoy life – travel more, develop or pursue hobbies, do more of what makes us happy, find purpose and meaning in life
  • Get organized – clear clutter, organize home and office, remove unnecessary stuff
  • Spend less and save more – cut unnecessary expenses, make a budget, save and invest more
  • Read more/learn new skills – watch less TV, spend less time on social media, games, or internet browsing, read more books, enroll in a new course, learn a new skill
  • Spend more time with family and friends – Connect regularly with family and friends, spend quality time with family members, have dinner together, remove distractions, talk more


As the new year starts – we go on a diet, get a gym membership, buy new exercise gear, buy a book or CD/DVD program, buy stationery and equipment to get organized, resolve to put away our smartphones, vouch to spend more time with family and friends, decide to cut down on expenses, commit to reduce smoking or drinking and so on.


What is the strange part in all this? Despite good intentions, statistics show that most of the new year’s resolutions fail.  One study concluded that four out of five people quit on the new year’s resolutions by February!  Another study showed that only 8% achieve their new year’s goals.  Almost half of the people admit that they make the same new years resolutions each year and then fail to make any progress on them.


Our own personal experiences with new year’s resolutions probably provide a good evidence of the accuracy of the statistics. We go through this cycle of resolving, failure, guilt, and self-doubt.  Our confidence in our ability to make any significant and sustainable change in our lives diminishes. We mope for a while, then dust ourselves off, gather some courage – especially around milestones like the new year or our birthdays – and resolve again to make some changes to improve our lives.


What are the reasons that prevent us from making the change stick?  Well, we really don’t really understand our brain, especially how our emotional brain sabotages our change efforts.  We don’t realize nor analyze our own quirks, tendencies and unique needs – without which our odds of success are just about as high as a blind shooter hitting the bull’s eye!  We don’t have the right strategy, the right tools, even the right information.  Most popular content on behavior change is cliché, misinformed at best and useless at the worst.


In my blog, I want to provide you with all the tools, strategies, understanding, and inspiration, to significantly increase the odds for successful change in your life.  This research is based on information from neuroscience, fMRI brain scans, the biology of behavior, decision making and habits, behavioral economics, psychology, and other related fields.


When you use the right strategy and the right tools, your chances of forming good habits and sustaining them increase significantly, as much as ten times compared to average person’s success rate.  Subscribe to my blog and don’t miss out on that right tool, the right information, right technique, a timely reminder, a dose of inspiration – to help you succeed in your change efforts.


What are your new year’s resolutions?  How long did you stick to them?  Did you succeed on the resolutions?  Even though today is not new year’s day, it is the first day – of the rest your life!  Starting afresh – what are the few things that you want to change and improve in your life?  If you had the tools to stick to these resolutions, how would it transform your life?  Please leave your comments!

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I am a coach, consultant, and a trainer. I sincerely believe that people have a lot more potential than their current life conditions reflect, and with the right coaching and tools, we all can grow and transform our lives beyond our own beliefs. My hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, and connecting with people from all walks of life.

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