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Why Resolutions Fail

Written by: Lisa Hammett, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


One of the top New Year’s Resolutions, year after year, is getting healthy and fit. Most often, it involves losing weight. Billions of individuals declare the New Year will be the year they not only lose weight but keep it off. When January arrives, determined individuals flock to gyms and weight loss centers. Motivation runs high for the first couple of weeks then begins to wane. According to recent New Year’s Resolution Statistics, 25% of those who make resolutions, drop off after one week. After two weeks, the number increases to 29%. By the end of January, drop-offs have increased to 36%. After six months, drop-offs have reached 54%. Why is it that New Year’s Resolutions fail for the majority?

Good intentions alone will not produce results. They must be followed by a solid plan and specific action. For example, stating that you’ll lose weight by eating healthy and going to the gym, sets the intention, but doesn’t give you a roadmap to get there. What does eating healthy really mean? Do you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet? Do you focus on portion control? Does it involve counting calories? There are not enough specifics to provide guidance and accountability. The same applies to going to the gym. What does going to the gym look like? Do you spend 30 minutes lifting weights? Are you jogging on a treadmill? Maybe you’re taking a weekly spin class. Bottom line, your actions must be specific. What are you going to do? When are you going to do it? How often will you do it? Does your plan involve another person?

When goals / action steps are unrealistic, Resolutions fail. When starting on a health and wellness journey, many individuals set unrealistic expectations. For example, the weight loss expectation may be to lose an unrealistic amount of weight in a short period of time. This will set the individual up to fail. Whereas, setting small, specific, realistic goals will set the individual up for success, creating positive reinforcement to continue with the behavior.

Resolutions often fail because the mindset is not there. How do Olympians win gold medals? They wake up every day with a “winner's mindset.” They visualize the win, how they will feel, and how the crowd will react. They have a clear mental picture of success.

The key to successful visualization is to tie it to an emotion and believe that goal achievement is possible. See yourself achieving your goal. What will your life be like? Who will you surround yourself with? How will others perceive you? Now imagine how you will physically and emotionally feel. Paint a clear mental picture. Close your eyes, and spend several minutes each morning, focusing on it.

If you don’t believe your goals are achievable, you will not be successful. Case in point, if you desire to lose weight but your mind is telling you, “I’ll never lose weight. I’ve always been chubby.” You will not lose weight. Our mindset forms our belief system which drives our behavior.

Many individuals struggle with fear of success. This mindset sabotages the best of intentions. Creating a positive, growth mindset takes work. Often, limiting beliefs, developed from childhood, sabotage our best efforts to be successful. Once these beliefs are recognized and accepted as untruths, they can be replaced with helpful, encouraging thoughts that will drive positive behavior change.

As humans, we often focus on our weaknesses versus our strengths. When setting Resolutions, it’s often the objective to improve something we’re not good at. This approach is self-defeating. There’s no motivating component. Whereas, when we spend time reflecting on those things we’ve accomplished and do well, we acknowledge our successes and channel that understanding into creating an even better version of ourselves. Creating goals that align with our strengths, not only increase our probability of success, but improve our overall happiness and wellbeing.

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Lisa Hammett, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lisa Hammett is a leader in health and wellness, stress management, and goal setting. After a 26 year career in the corporate retailing world, which left her stressed, burnt out, and at her heaviest weight, she left the industry for a successful 16-year career in direct selling. During this time she developed her love of coaching. She also started her health and wellness journey, losing 65 pounds, and has kept it off for 11 years. After losing the weight, she became a health coach, for a global wellness company, and has been coaching members for the past 9 years, to achieve their weight loss goals. In May of 2021 she launched her Success Coaching practice, to help individuals who were struggling with anxiety, depression, and weight gain due to the pandemic. Her business has since expanded to life coaching. Client success stories include: weight loss, improved health, stress reduction, creating a balanced life, development of sustainable healthy habits (mind and body), development of a laser focused Vision for goal achievement, building strong confidence, improved relationships, and business success. Lisa is currently writing her first book, "Be Your Best Self", which will be published later this year.



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