Here are some of the reasons why 83% of all New Year’s resolutions fail:

  1. Habits are stronger than intentions.
  2. The resolution was not made with a truly committed action plan.
  3. You did not develop a support system to help carry on the resolution through the ebbs and flows of life.
  4. The resolution was a reaction to something outside yourself and was not based in new self-insight and knowledge and therefore lacks enduring power.
  5. Accountability check marks were not built into the resolution.
  6. You never believed in yourself and your intention in the first place.
  7. You have a track record of unfulfilled promises with yourself.
  8. The resolution is focusing on an area of weakness instead of building on strengths.
  9. You are trying to fill an absence rather than build a presence of something in your life. There is a difference.
  10. You have not created a ‘point of no return’ strategy.

What then, to do about it and how do you overcome these challenges. Well, let’s reverse each of these statements.

  1. Build an intensity of intention. Recognize the weight of the habit. Extrapolate 12 months, three years and 10 years – where will you be if you do not act on this new resolution. Where will you be in 12 months, three years and 10 years having acted on this intention and resolution?
  2. Create a committed foolproof action plan that will carry you through.
  3. Build a support system with friends and colleagues, and in your home and work environments.
  4. Make sure you are not just reacting to a short term stimulant. If you are, as soon as the stimulant disappears you will have no reason to continue. Make sure your determination is based in new and deeper self knowledge.
  5. Design an accountability system with daily and weekly check marks and rituals. Have a buddy, a partner, a coach to hold you accountable.
  6. Make sure your resolution is not just a feeling but a strong committed belief. Build an affirmation into it to accompany the action.
  7. If you have a track record of unfulfilled promises with yourself then recognize that your resolution must be – “This year I am beginning to create better and more trustful relationships with myself. I am acting on my intentions and decisions so that I know that I can trust myself. Other people will trust me after I first trust myself.” Set daily and weekly simple tasks for yourself that you cannot fail and ritualize your action. Act on it and it will build your confidence, self esteem and success.
  8. Do not make the mistake of focusing on weakness. Your resolution must work on your strength. If you come out of weakness you will resent the resolution itself within 14 days. Frame your intention to be based on strength.
  9. Remember the moment in Apollo 13 when Ed Harris says: “Let’s examine this from a standpoint of status. Tell me what’s working here. Tell me what’s good on this ship.” They then get the crew back to Earth because of their total focus on what they have, not on what they don’t have. So must you do the same, focus on what’s working well and on what you have, and build your resolution on that foundation.
  10. Now, this is the tough one. Put yourself with your back to wall. Create a point of no return. Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. This is the real thing. You must take action.

© Aviv Shahar