The Top 6 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

why new year's resolutions fail

New Year’s resolutions are one of the biggest obsessions of today’s world.

We’re usually against ideas that are so commercial, and try to stay out of what everyone else seems to be doing. But somehow – often unconsciously – we fall into the trap of deciding to change every December, and then giving up in January.

That’s the case most of the times. And it leads to regrets, disappointments, going back to old habits, and often indulging in bad behaviors even more.

And in order to fix that, we should first understand why new year’s resolutions fail so bad.

Here are the main reasons:

Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?

  1. We set many goals.

Our mind is programmed to focus on one thing at a time, and 1-3 big things in general at any phase in our life.

And when we try to make changes in 3 different areas, or to go after 5 goals at once, or to replace 2 bad habits with good ones, we fail.

The solution is simple. Choose one thing and do it right this time.

  1. We crave big transformations.

Not only do we want to change many things at once, but we also make them big. Which makes it even more impossible to achieve without getting overwhelmed and stressed.

Another key ingredient to successfully changing our behavior – besides doing one thing at a time – is starting small.

So concentrate on one resolution this year, and break it down into achievable and easy steps. Then start with the first one.

  1. We don’t prepare.

Most people don’t think about big changes until December comes, and then it’s too late to plan things carefully so they just rush into it and decide to do or not to do something from January on.

But that’s a wrong approach to new year’s resolutions, and it’s another reason why they fail.

Planning and preparation, however, don’t need to take a lot of time and energy. But if done properly, can save you a lot of worries and disappointments in the future.

So take a pen and paper and write down the one thing you want to change the most in your life. Think of all you need to do to get there. Set a deadline if you want to for each of the steps.

Plan out the changes you need to make in your daily life so that it can fit perfectly there. Set a time each day for taking this step. Think of what reminders you can use so that you don’t forget it.

  1. We want fast results.

Not only do we want many and big transformations, but we want that to happen fast.

Those who plan on getting fit want to have lost weight by the end of January. Others want to be out of debt by that time.

But it doesn’t work like that. Resolutions need time to become a reality, and to be a permanent part of your new lifestyle, not just a temporary phase.

So give it time. Be patient. Have the end goal in mind and visualize success, but don’t be in a hurry.

  1. We don’t want it bad enough.

Most people don’t really want to make the changes they think about in December. A good self-analysis of your dreams and goals is needed at this point, so that you don’t end up chasing something that won’t make you happy even if you reach it soon.

Be honest with yourself. Define your ideal life and see how it differs from your current one. Then take a firm decision to change one aspect first, and eliminate distractions.

Be sure you truly want it before you do anything, though.

  1. Our motivation is short-term.

As a result of everything else listed above, we don’t have the right type of motivation. And to make a big change like a new year’s resolution, we should stay consistent and motivated for months.

To do that, always be reminded of your why. Assuming you’ve found a solution to reason #5 and are after something you actually desire, then keep the end result in mind all the time.

Once you get back to your normal daily life in January, you may quickly forget about the transformation you promised you’ll make in the new year. And will easily get back to your old habits.

But the desire to change won’t go away. As once you had it, it means you’re not satisfied with a certain aspect of your life. And until you do something about it, you won’t feel happy and at ease.

So make sure you stay motivated no matter what. Taking small steps daily towards you goal will help you see progress soon, and that’s one way to be inspired to keep going.

So that’s why we haven’t mastered keeping resolutions and usually fail. But this year might be different. It’s all up to you.

What’s your new year’s resolution? And how can you make sure you stick to it?

See also:

Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions
6 Reasons to Set New Year’s Resolutions in September

Image by Luis Hernandez @Flickr

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest

Sharing my adventures in lifestyle design, building an online business, and growing this blog. Join me for weekly updates.

Previous ArticleNext Article

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income