Why Your New Year’s Resolution Will Fail:
1) You don’t have enough time to achieve it.
2) You’re not motivated enough.
3) You don’t want to do it anymore than you wanted to eat ice cream for breakfast today.
4) You think you’ll regret doing it later.
5) There are other things better you could be doing instead of achieving your goal right now.
6) You don’t like the person you’ll become if you succeed.
The first reason is pretty self explanatory, but I’m going to go into it again because it bears repeating: You don’t have enough time to accomplish your goal. If you were able to get all of your work done by tomorrow morning, then congratulations!
That means you’ve got a lot of time left over for yourself and that’s great! But you still need to get some sleep or something. And while you may feel like you have plenty of time, there’s no way around it; you won’t actually have that much time.
So how do you decide when to stop?
Well, the answer depends on your situation. But the best way is to start small and work your way up.
Do you REALLY need to clean the whole house? I mean, can’t it wait until tomorrow? Why not just do your bedroom today and the bathroom tomorrow?
If even that seems like too much, just do your desk. Or, if you’re really feeling bold, try to get out of bed without stepping on any of the toys that your kids have left on the floor.
The second reason is also pretty straightforward: you’re unmotivated. If you aren’t motivated to do something, then it’s probably not going to happen.
It sounds simple enough, but there’s more to it than that. See, there are two kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is when you want to do something because it’s fun or interesting or just plain enjoyable. You like doing it. Extrinsic motivation is when you want to do something because you’ll get something in return. You like getting the thing you get in return better than doing the thing you’re supposed to be doing. For example:
Liking chocolate versus wanting to buy a new computer.
That sounds like a pretty clear cut case, right?
Well, it would be if it were so simple. It isn’t. I mean, there are TONS of reasons why people do things. A lot more than just two. Even in the example I just gave there’s another kind of motivation at work: Avoiding pain. Not every motivation is as obvious as wanting to buy a new computer. And that’s where your problem lies. (I’m getting to it, don’t worry! Just hold on!)
See, there’s a reason why you feel unmotivated. It’s because you don’t really want to do this task that you’ve set out for yourself.
Now, of course, you might WANT to do it for some extrinsic reason, like going to your high school reunion and then having everyone ask you what you’re doing for a living (and not just to say that they saw you outside 7-11). But more than likely, you’d rather be doing something else. And that’s okay, as long as you’re willing to accept the consequences of not achieving your goal.
It’s like this: There are some really fun things in life that are bad for you. There are also some really useful things in life that are really boring.
And then, there are things that are really boring that you’re supposed to do even though they’re really boring and they’re supposed to be good for you. Most of the time, people don’t do the last one. And that’s where you need to draw the line.
Do you see what I mean?
You need to accept that your goal is something that isn’t any fun and is very difficult to motivate yourself to accomplish because it really isn’t something you like to do. You need to accept that you’re not going to have any motivation while doing this task because you just don’t want to do it.
Once you’ve accepted that, things get a lot easier. With the extrinsic motivations gone, you’ll have to find your enjoyment from within the activity itself.
It’s going to be a very long and difficult process, so you need to take consolation in the fact that at least you’re doing something you believe in. Honestly, once you actually get into it, it won’t be all that bad. You just need to change your mindset about the task and then give it your all.
Good luck and remember to keep your chin up!
You read through the entire chapter and you still don’t feel any more motivated than when you had first picked up this guide. If anything, you feel less motivated.
You’re really dreading having to go through with any of this, but maybe you just need to suck it up and do it anyway. This is for your family after all.
It’s the least you can do for them.
You close the guide and resign yourself to finishing these tasks as quickly as you can so you can get on with your life. You’re done reading motivational guides.
They haven’t helped anyway.
You hurry up and do the things you need to do so you can finish up and get home.
A few weeks pass and after you’ve taken care of all the things you needed to, you end up finishing up everything a week earlier than expected. Your parents are thrilled and they even have a small party to celebrate you finishing your tasks early.
You enjoy the party for a little while, but as soon as it’s over you make your apologies and say you need to get to bed so you can get an early start on your journey tomorrow.
Your mom insists on driving you to the bus stop so you don’t miss it in the morning. You don’t argue since you still feel bad about all the things that had happened and you need to make up for them somehow.
When you get to the stop there is already a small line of people waiting. You nod hello to them and then while you wait you watch the road for any signs of the bus coming.
About ten minutes before the bus is supposed to arrive, the big blue coach rumbles into view. You give the driver your ticket and find a seat towards the middle.
You end up sitting next to a man wearing a green cap who keeps smelling his own arm pit and seems oblivious to your existence.
Another ten minutes goes by and the bus makes a few more stops before it gets to yours. When the driver calls out your stop, you stand up along with a couple of other people and then make your way to the door.
You get off and look around but don’t see your family anywhere. You didn’t really think that they would be here, but you still thought that there might be a slight chance that you might catch a glimpse of them.
You were really just hoping that maybe your sister would show up and surprise you. You guess that they must have decided that it would be better not to cause a scene by seeing you off.
Not wishing to wait around for the next bus to ensure you get a seat, you head towards the curb and stick out your hand. The bus slows to a stop in front of you and the doors whoosh open.
You start to take your first step up the stairs when a woman’s voice calls out at you from behind.
You turn around and see your sister come running up to you. She has tears streaming down her face.
Hey, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Come here.” She says while opening her arms to give you a big hug.
You return her embrace and return the gesture with one of your own.
“I’m going to miss you.” She says after releasing you from the hug.
“I’ll miss you too, but I’ll only be gone for a year and then I’ll be back to stay.” You reassure her.
“Promise.” You say while looking her directly in the eye.
She smiles a little, but then her face goes back to being sad. She gives you one more hug before stepping back and wiping her tears away.
She blows you a kiss and then turns around. She waves at you until she’s out of sight.
You enter the bus and find that there are plenty of open seats. You choose one towards the middle and sit down.
You put your bag in the seat next to you and wait for the bus to get going.
You pull your family picture out of your pocket and look at it while you think about all that has happened. You then carefully slip it into the photo sleeve of your bible so you won’t lose it.
As the bus gets going you look out the window and watch the scenery go by. You recognize some of the places you pass and smile to yourself when you think about past events that happened at each one of them.
After a while you stop seeing places you recognize and the scenery becomes more drab and industrial. You know you are getting close when you start to pass through older residential areas with small houses that need repair.
When you see a barren wasteland on one side of the road with a sign that reads “Welcome to Redridge Mountains” your heart starts to beat a little faster. This is it.
You’re really leaving now and there’s no turning back.
You look out the window for any sign that you’ve passed your intended exit but you already know that it comes very soon after passing through the mountains. If you miss it, you’ll have to go all the way back through the city to get to the other one because there are no roads that cross over the mountains.
At least none that you know about.
The bus driver doesn’t even need to slow down when he gets to the turn off. You miss it the first time he goes by it because you’re so wrapped up in your own thoughts and staring out the window as you passed it.
But when he almost immediately makes a hard right, you quickly sit up and look out the front. You aren’t going more than 5mph at the most but it feels like 50mph when you throw yourself against the back of the seat in front of you and spill your bag on the floor.
You hear some rattling behind you and feel a little relief when you realize that everything in your bag, including the photo sleeve with the bible, made it out okay. At least you know your bible won’t get damaged!
You also hear some exclaims from other people on the bus and you turn around to see what is going on, but no one seems to be hurt.
The bus driver says something about how some people just don’t know how to act when they are on a freakin’ bus and that he’s glad no one got hurt this time. He also mentions that he doesn’t want to hear anyone complaining about their trip now.
Everyone else starts to complain about the driver and most of them are blaming him for throwing their bags on the floor.
You pick up your bag and put everything away and then join in the complaining.
You don’t care what people think of you anyway. The driver gives you a dirty look before turning his attention back to the road. The rest of the trip is uneventful and doesn’t take too long.
You arrive in Evergloom just before noon. The large city is much different from the small villages you’ve been living in.
You’ve never seen so many people in one place before. As you make your way through the crowd, you bump into someone and drop your bag.
“Hey watch it!” someone says.
You turn around to see a police officer staring right at you.
“I’m sorry officer. I didn’t mean to.” You say.
What’s your name?”
“P-Peter. Peter Munoz.” You know that Chief Burkholder at Hessla told you not to tell anyone your real name, but you’ve never been very good at lying.
“I’m sorry Mr. Munoz, but Peter is a girl’s name.”
Sources & references used in this article:
The resolution solution: Longitudinal examination of New Year’s change attempts by JC Norcross, DJ Vangarelli – Journal of Substance Abuse, 1988 – Elsevier
New year’s resolution: Expunge misbeliefs by JW Moore – 2004 – ACS Publications
What to do now if your New Year’s resolution failed… by BK Chamberlain – lifeapps.io
Health and wellbeing: Fitness: Make your new year’s resolution stick by J McCreary – LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal, 2019 – search.informit.com.au
An organizational new year’s resolution: To unlearn by IH Buchen – National Productivity Review, 1998 – Wiley Online Library
Scrap Your New Year’s Resolution by M Daly – 2013 – wellnessplus.net