3 revealing reasons why new years resolutions don’t work

3 revealing reasons why new years resolutions don’t work


We are receiving sometimes overwhelming information, all different kind of, from almost all available sources. The big titles on magazines, or advertisement in TV are saying the well-known that the Christmas and end of the year is coming. For the first occasion they try to manipulate us into buying, therefore spending money and for the second occasion they are recommending us to make the biggest changes in our life. If you succumb the hysterical billboards or not, almost everyone is keen to make some review of the previous year. If the things what we wanted to achieve, were successfully done or not. Some would maybe do review how much they have earned, how much they have spent and similar. And many of us would definitely look into new year’s plans with hope that this time the entire lists of targets would be done.

Until now all is fine, the problem with fulfilling our best intend targets is occurring when we make our list of targets or our way how to achieve those targets too complicated, or simply wrong.


So why we make changes at New Year?

Together with summer holidays is the New Year period the most often chosen time for changes. Except the above mentioned influence of outside source, the generations before us were using this milestone as a specific time bounded period. We used to count and memorize our experiences or successes, eventually failures in terms of years. Less in terms of months or weeks.

If you have a conversation with your friend you haven’t seen long time you often may say: “ Ah, yes that was in 2006, that was really good year.” or “ Yes, I remember that, it happened in 2009, it wasn’t good year for my company.” So it is easier to remember like months or weeks.

Another reason is that people are taking the new year as a deadline. If the present year wasn’t the perfect one, there is always hope that the new one, will be the perfect one.

Some people would give special value to the years, according their numerical meaning. You definitely heard that sometimes already. Things like years end with 8 are somehow magical, or that countable years are luckier than those uncountable.

What I think is that, it has no reason to avoid effort in following targets, dreams or challenges just because the certain year is uncountable. Or opposite, to increase effort, just because it is a year finishing with number eight. If there is some influence of some numerical power, I still believe that every person has bigger influence on its own happiness. 


Why it is not always working?

The average fitness studio is seeing 35% increase of season ticket sales in January.

How many times you heard people around you say: “ I will stop smoke since new year”

“I will stop drinking from new year”

“ I will start eating healthy from new year”…

And how many of those were following their new change in March, or in July?

There are some reasons why people are not successful with their new year change:

1. Lack of persistence

Many people are setting their goals, those validation starts at the 1st January and by the end of the month they are done with it. Why? Missing persistence. For example, you would like to do sport more often as you did in order to lose weight, one of the most common New Year’s resolution. You will buy ticket in Fitness studio, you will visit it in first week 3 times. Second week 2 times. And the third week 1 time. Fourth week you will find motivation to go harder and fifth week you might already forgot what you want to do. After receiving invoice from Fitness studio you might even cancel it, because you were not seeing any reasonable results after the hard trained three weeks.

2. Everything at once

Another problem why people can not make their changes completely done is, missing system. In short, that you would like to achieve all your changes at the same time.

For instance, you decide to lose weight, earn more money or eventually change your job, run marathon and buy an apartment. And now how it might look? One week you decide to train hard in order to lose weight. Second week you will search for a new job or way how to earn more money. Third week you will train running in order to be able to run marathon. Fourth week you will search for apartments with the best location and price, which is fitting your family needs. Besides that you might hear your wife asking for new pieces of furniture, or regular visit of her parents and your kids are having troubles in the school. And after first month you might feel that instead of super feeling of moving forward, your head would explode soon.

Without system, you won’t go far.

3. Your wishes or changes are unrealistic

Obviously wishes like to be 5 cm taller, or bringing someone death back among alive is totally out of hook. But we can place here resolutions which are achievable, but not in one year. If you were not setting up your targets your entire life and since New Year you have decided to do it, you might be disappointed of the results in case, that you would set up 25 big challenges to be achieved in time frame of one year.

What to do instead?

In the previous lines I mentioned the scenarios when people are setting up their resolutions wrongly. In the coming lines I would like to do the opposite, and give some patterns when the resolution can become a successful change.


All above I have to mention, that it is almost impossible to make your resolutions working if you set up them at the 1st of January, eventually wrote them down on piece of paper and then not see them before 31st of December the same year.

But by system I mean, more dividing the targets. Take one target from your list and divide the activities towards achieving it into smaller pieces. Don’t try to eat the cake all at once. Because instead of stomach pain you would feel frustrated and unmotivated.

How it could look like in reality? Let’s have as an example your New Year’s resolution of losing weight. Instead of all your energy and enthusiasm you possess now, transferred into one week of 5 sessions, make a plan where you will attend fitness studio two times weekly, 1 hour each session. This regularity you can follow for three months. After that, first deadline you can make changes in your plan. Decreasing or increasing the hours or sessions spent there. Divide it into small pieces and keep record of your attendance. Be strict to yourself, just that way you might achieve it. And your feelings and results would be much better.

I would recommend using this system in every aspect of your planning. Divide the year into smaller pieces. Months, weeks. It is easier to follow the results. And most important, small steps done regularly are leading you towards the success faster than less big steps made irregularly.

2. Be persistent

If you would use system and you would divide the year into smaller pieces, being persistent would be much easier for you. That is psychological. If you would concentrate on the milestone you have to achieve this month which will be easier to achieve like to entire target, you would feel more optimistic in order to achieve it.

Again the example of losing the weight. To lose 3 kg as a month target is easier achieve, like losing 35 kg in a year. For your mind it is easier to achieve. Your energy would be higher. Don’t forget to track and record your results.

To be and to stay persistent also in harder times, in the rainy days when you would rather stay on your sofa covered with the sheet more than going for training, your inner motivation is the most decisive factor. We all know those days, when we are too tired, or the perfect girl wants to talk to us, or there is your favourite TV program on screen right now.

But if you know your values, if you are interested what are the values and how application of them in your daily life can improve your life, please check my other post finding your true purpose in life, if you haven’t yet and if you put your resolution the right value, it would be again easier for you.

At the beginning you might feel it hard to follow your routine, but after first successful attempts leaving your comfort zone, it would become more natural to you. And you can trust me, just those who would fight these times, and would go train even they really don’t have power to go, they will be successful in the end.

3. Work on changes you really want

This is maybe the most important thing out of all. Many people make list of their New Year’s resolution unwise, just according their present need and not in long terms.

Couple of years ago I started with some really productive habit, which is helping me to achieve my targets radically. At some days between 26-28 December I found one day when I am walking in some quiet place, it can be forest, beach, or small mountain, somewhere out of the rush of the daily life and I make my review of the year over there.

Thinking on the things I want to achieve the finishing year, check if I achieve them, if not how far I am and why I did not achieve them. And the second day do the same, but now I check my values, the unfinished things from previous year, and think what I would like to achieve in the coming year. Not, what would bring me pleasure and happiness for 2 or 4 weeks and then I forgot I have it. But something meaningful, something I would be seeing value of it after months or years passing by.

Something what would improve quality of my life rapidly and in long term.

And also, something, when I will achieve it, will bring me sufficient feeling of done it .


If you have problem to recognize, if the change you would like to make is really the one which would make you happy and give you fulfillment after achieving it, ask yourself what would it be like if you already have it done.

Jump some month ahead in time and imagine yourself in place where you achieve it already.

How do you feel? Is it something you wanted?

Then you would know if it is worth of trying.

You have the power to change everything you want!

With this last title I am going to leave you, to celebrate the old one and welcoming the new one. Don’t forget that you are the creator of your own life.

However crazy and unrealistic this might sounds to you, you can achieve WHATEVER you decided to. If you would need some extra guidance towards finding your way, please follow my other posts here on my website. I would be more than happy to be your guide.

I hope I could brighten your ideas for the following year with my posts 3 reasons why new years resolutions don’t work.

I wish you, all the best for coming year 2020. Let the new millennium be the right time for your life you deserve.

And don’t drink too heavily! Until soon!

P.S. In occasion of new beginnings I am going to give an unique opportunity to 3 of you my readers. Please read below.

  2. 2020 Give Away:

Now let’s take action and make 2020 a great year of change!

In order to accompany you in this year long journey, I will have of course many great articles for you coming soon but I would like to bring the experience one step further for 3 lucky followers: to make sure you try without limit in 2020, take full control and stick to it until December 31st 2020, 3 of you will be in touch with myself on a monthly basis (minimum) to stay accountable with your goal.

On these 12 monthly check ups, we will keep track of your progress, share advices, motivate you when you feel you need a boost… in other words I will be your accountability buddy 🙂

To be part of this special and life changing adventure, here are the rules to take part of this contest:

  1. Please submit your goal for 2020 and explain in 1 or 2 sentences your motivations on the comment box below
  2. Be a subscriber and share this article on Facebook, twitter or Pinterest  so we can also interact there with the tag: #try2020withoutlimits
  1. You have time until 1st January 2020 12pm CET to submit your ambition and be one step closer to your better self.

Every goal will be taken into account. It doesn’t and shouldn’t be too complicated. It should be something specific that is currently limiting you but you are willing to overcome in 1 year time. If you still wonder why defeating your limitation will change your life forever, I recommend you this previous article this article

I will announce the 3 lucky winners on 2nd January 2020, who will receive a brand new agenda to write, plan, track, master this whole year with me!

New Year Resolutions are OVERRATED #try2020withoutlimits

Let me part of your progress!



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4 years ago

I like this blog, and your suggestions on creating a plan, being persistent and only working on the changes you really truly want to make during the year. New Years is typically a good time to make a change but creating a working plan that is workable for you will definitely help. Persistence in following your workable plan will make or break your new resolution and to be truly successful, you must really really want to make that change, so pick only something you truly want to change and that you might truly want to stick to your plan for. Thanks for this post. -shirley

4 years ago

Hi Julius,

The good intentions of your Blog is very obvious. The second half of your Blog when you offer up Solutions was great. It was not only helpful but funny as well. It totally won me over as you being someone I could trust. The overall appearance and spacing of your ads gave your Blog a nice feel and rhythm except for one thing. Your first image of the wine glasses is HUGE. I would make it smaller if I were you.


4 years ago

I enjoyed reading your blog post.

I have seen countless times where someone had a goal in their new year resolutions to eat healthier or to work out and they never do it.

Though I am a little guilty of this myself because I told myself that I wanted to eat healthier back in the new year of 2019 and I still ate crappy foods.

Though I have gotten a little better.

I see personally that people mostly lack the persistence to do it.

Sadly, some people don’t even take action to do it.

One of the takeaways I got from this post is that I try to do everything at once.

I wanted to do so much the next year but I now that I won’t follow through all of them so I am just focusing on one thing at a time.

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