The thing to understand is not why some people are successful in achieving their New Year’s goals–it’s understanding the mindset of the other 92 percent.


Lisa Phillips
Owner of SimpleWorks


2018 has only rolled out the welcome mat for a few weeks, yet what about those New Year Resolutions you were committed to last month? Are they still fresh and capturing your attention, or have you thrown them out with the last of the Christmas cards and tinsel? Forbes Magazine and the University of Scranton released a joint article explaining why only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goal for a year or longer. With the numbers clearly stacked against the majority, some may use that as a reason to not even try or begin. The thing to understand is not why some are successful—it’s understanding the mindset of the other 92 percent. Here are five common areas that cause us to get stuck and quit when focusing on change.

  • Redefine direction. When you feel confused on what direction you need to take to reach a goal, then your focus needs to be on vision. Stop bouncing. Find ways to be more streamlined and productive at work so that you can have the relaxation you desire once you get home. Clearly visualize how you want your day to go, down to when you’ll eat, priorities of the day and when you close the office door.
  • Fear/anxiety. “How am I going to do it all?” “Why won’t anyone help me?” Focus on building your skill level on how you will handle these situations when they appear. Learn how to delegate and ask for help. Educate yourself on how to be more productive at tasks that are not your strengths. Discover technology that can help makes things simpler. Fear and faith are the same emotion; you decide which one will be more dominate.
  • Remember why. When you find yourself drifting into old habits, you’ll want to increase your motivation for your “why.” Only you can motivate you. Outside influences can help, yet you’re responsible for figuring your “why”—then keep a laser focus on the result.
  • Connect with people. If you’re feeling frustrated and you’ve checked the things above, then you’ll want to go back and build deeper people skills. Understanding those you work with, as well as family and friends, will increase your patience and understanding of expectations from those around you.
  • False starts. If you find some weeks are out of control versus other weeks, then the focus needs to be on consistency. Work with a schedule and a to-do list. Get up at the same time every day. Set boundaries. Limit after-hours communication. When you are home, be home.

In the joint article survey, the people who were not celebrating their resolutions blamed their own lack of willpower. In hindsight, they thought if they had more self-determination to understand the speed bumps and setbacks, they would’ve overcome any of the five hurdles listed above. Here’s a simple fact: You have as much willpower as you think you have. Your journey toward celebrating your resolutions is easier than you think. Don’t quit. Try again. It’s that simple.