Avoid these 17 sins of New Years Resolutions

How to avoid these 17 New Year’s Resolution sins.

365 days of fun

365 days of fun

The New Year approaches and offers so much new hope and promise for everyone. This is time of year that sees most of us follow certain tradition and rituals.

One of the most common traditions is forming a list of New Year’s resolutions. A tough fact about resolutions is most people will not complete them to success. Indeed only an average of 8% will still be following their resolutions by September. So, to improve that number, we share the 17 most deadly sins to avoid for your resolutions.

1. Creating a spontaneous list

We are a curious species, do not just chase ideas, pursue a purpose.

We are a curious species, do not just chase ideas, pursue a purpose.

Many resolutions are made up on the spot. They comprise a spontaneous list of achievements that have had little or no research to understand the implications, effort and steps to achieve them.


Top Tip: Do your homework before making a commitment.

2. Thinking doing it once is enough

Hands up if you are someone, or know someone whom has made a significant successful change in their lives and then slipped back to their old habits with regrets and excuses after. I guess we all are that person or know someone. If you concentrate just on a specific goal and not set new goals, then performance is likely to slip.

Tip Tip: When getting close to goal achievement, start planning for new goals (even maintaining a performance level is good enough)

3. Giving Up Too Soon

Mistakes happen, learn, pick yourself up to avoid hardships in future.

Mistakes happen, learn, pick yourself up to avoid hardships in future.

The journey to success is seldom straight forward. There are often many setbacks and hurdles along the way. Do not give up on your goal too soon after a setback. Failure is only at the point when you give up.

Top Tip: Be realistic and adjust goal deadlines due to unforeseen circumstances i.e. injury, habit relapse. Remind yourself of the positive steps and experiences gained, not the negative.

4. Not being specific enough

A common resolution for families is “spend more time together”. The challenge with this goal is that it is too vague. Where some members of the family may be happy meeting up twice a year, others are seeking a much more intimate and frequent meeting plan.

Top Tip: Be specific with goals especially when collaborating with others. (See SMARTER goal setting)

5. Doing nothing about it

The harder I work the more luck I have.
— Peter Thiel

Making a resolution that simply is forgotten or never acted upon is possibly the highest candidate for the worst sin of all in this list. The resolution will only happen in two ways. 1) Lucky chance 2) You doing something about it.

Top Tip: Plan action and measure progress daily, weekly, monthly and every 90 days.

6. Too many goals at the same time

Success breeds success, start right and slow at first then build on the experiences

Success breeds success, start right and slow at first then build on the experiences

This sin applies mostly to people that are not used to goal setting. The ability to manage too many goals can be an overwhelming experience. The actual management of change and number of habit reformations may be too much to handle at once. If you have more than 1 resolution on your list, look out for this sin.

Top Tip: Review the timing, commitment levels and potential conflicts of your goals to daily life.

7. Not changing the things that interact with your goals

Personal confession time: I love to watch motorbike racing. This can mean I will watch a couple of hours racing at a time. This time can conflict another goal of “exercise more”. To resolve this conflict I have a couple of strength stretch bands that I use when watching. So I continue to exercise and enjoy my races.

Top Tip: Create NOT TO DO LIST and seek collaborative activities with win-win outputs.

8. Too slow learning from mistakes

Have you set resolutions year after year and never fulfilled any of them? Have you considered why? Progression towards any new change can only happen efficiently from active learning experiences. When mistakes are made they should be actioned upon. Do not stay and remain on an “eternal diet” making no progress.

Top Tip: Ask your closest circle of friends for honest feedback and help make you accountable for your change through a regular confession/review of mistakes and the actions taken to prevent them again in the future.

9. Assuming that habits change over night

A thought is easier than practice..

A thought is easier than practice..

Unfortunately we are surrounded by images and news stories of the exceptions in life. These exceptions (which is why they made the news in the first place), are soon replaced in our minds as expectations and “normal”. Often unrealistic images are portrayed in media and social media to offer a quick fix for any ailment, habit or situation. Indeed, JAMSO would be a much bigger global success if we “sold short solution” – you are assured however this does not match our ethics. So, if change is tough we tell you. – And guess what, change CAN be tough.

Top Tip: Do not live your live through comparison to others. Live your life comparing your own personal relative change. Not everyone has the same resources, life story, distractions or determination. You set your own experiences and standards, do not let them slip or become misguided.

10. Forgetting to set shorter term goals

Daily habit formation is critical for success

Daily habit formation is critical for success

Many New Year’s resolutions are big goals. To achieve any big goal in life it is also important to break them down into key steps or milestones.

Standard business project management tools can be a significant help with this process. For instance, if you want to run a marathon, maybe a start is to adjust your diet, start some longer walks and work on core training. Then develop a plan to work towards a 5k run. After the 5k run, a 10K run, after the 10K run then look into the half marathon as a significant step. After the half marathon consideration to an appropriate marathon training program will increase your chances of finishing well with a good time.

Top Tip: Learn some basics of project management and look to break your end goal down into at least 6 separate steps. Use the steps as shorter term goals and milestones.

11. Retaining old priorities

This sin often makes people shift in their seats and become a little uncomfortable. Being honest with your personal priorities is one of the most over looked of the 17 New Year’s resolution sins. You have more choice over how you spend your time than most realize. Too many people fall back to old habit formed priorities; sometimes this will need you to remind your circle of friends, family and colleagues of your new priorities.

Top Tip: Take ownership of your diary, plan time for your priorities and downtime, and then protect them as though your life depends upon them.

12. Being too radical with your list

It is fine to plan for a big mountain, as long as many other mountains will be climbed as practice first.

It is fine to plan for a big mountain, as long as many other mountains will be climbed as practice first.

Let’s face it, not everyone can make massive change overnight and retain those changes forever.

Firm, positive and definite progress might be best to match the expectations of your finances, time permitted, family and relationship commitments and ethical principles.

Top Tip: Do not use this sin to hide away from bold change; simply be aware and sensitive but determined with the changes you are seeking.

13. Making resolutions that relies too much on others

Hardships will happen, plan for them.

Hardships will happen, plan for them.

Your new year’s resolution is exactly that, it is yours only. When creating a resolution that involves or relies on others, then their consent is critical.

Do not assume everyone else will be as enthusiastic, motivated or willing to join, help or be partner with your resolution.

Top Tip: Create your own resolution in a way that collaborates with others with the same vision. Be prepared to let others go.

14. Not planning to top up motivation on a regular basis

A year is made up of seasons and we all have times where and when motivation levels are at their low points or highest. Understand what helps boost your motivation levels and use them like a fuel tank, frequent top ups may be required depending on how and how fast you drive.

Top Tip: Consider the use of vision boards, affirmations, quotes and feedback mechanisms; select the most effective tool for you.

15. Thinking you will be happy once you achieve it.

Have you ever considered why a multi-millionaire continues to work hard at their business despite their potential to sell up and live on the beach every day? No matter your goal, getting fit, travelling to new places, learning something new it does not mean you will feel any happier. There is an increased likelihood you will feel happier however happiness levels are relative and thus change in time and circumstance.

Top Tip: Recognize the “game of life” will always have a curiosity of exploration in your heart and mind. Embrace the game!

16. Avoiding expert help

Listen to logic and emotional sides of your brain to help balance judgement.

Listen to logic and emotional sides of your brain to help balance judgement.

To some degree or another, we all mostly are standing on the shoulders of giants.

No matter how original you think your ideas are, there is likely someone who has tried something similar to you in the past.

Their experiences can help you define short cuts, clarification, guidance and inspiration.

Top Tip: Perform quality research away from social media and mainstream press sources to help improve knowledge, skills and mastery of the change you seek.

17. Think that the fun will come later

The power of fun in everyday lives helps define life itself. Create moments of enjoyment before; during and after you prepare the changes sought within your resolution. After all, if you cannot see some fun in doing something, why bother at all?

Top Tip: Use awards, recognition and gamification systems with your resolution. Design in downtime, relaxation, reflection and rewards.

I wish you a very happy New Year and ask you for just 1 favor.

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