productivity,  Success Strategy

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Make it Work

Found this scary stat, almost half of the American’s make a New Year’s resolution but only 8% are successful in achieving it! Also every year, the most popular resolutions are staying fit, work-life balance and personal enrichment. All these are great resolutions to improve one’s quality of life. So where is the problem? Why the success rate is so low and what can you do to beat that?

This fall, one of the participants in my class set his goal to reduce his weight by going to the gym every day. The key to set achievable goals is to align it with one’s true essence. In order to help him do that I asked him these clarifying questions:

What is the bigger purpose it is aligned to?
What will you feel when you achieve this?
What will you sacrifice to make this happen?
How can you make this workout routine enjoyable to you?

He didn’t care to answer those. Instead, with a very determined face, he said: “I can’t afford to be this heavy, I have no choice but to lose weight or I get sick!” He also added that the “have to” mechanism had been the way for him to achieve anything in his life. Enjoying it was not a pre-requisite!” I let him go.

Fast forward 3 weeks. I asked him how he was doing with his workout routine. With a sigh, he said, “I am still continuing it, but every time I have to drag myself, I don’t look forward to it, I keep on thinking about my work and as soon as I am done I rush back to my work! It is like a chore to me.”

“How can you make this workout routine enjoyable to you?” – I asked the same question. Unlike last time, his face lit up, “yes, that might be it! I don’t enjoy it and that’s why I am not getting refreshed from this activity… I should find some other way of working out. I love playing tennis, may be instead of a machine I will do the workout by playing tennis!”

Moral of the story: Many of us are capable of making a resolution and have the tenacity to make it work for some time. But the key to sustainable success is not all about just getting things done. Life is a precious gift and you deserve to enjoy it (for the most part of it). Take the happiness path and Drive a life of Fun and Purpose,  you can be in that elite 8% in no time!