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Have Your Resolutions Already Failed?

Have Your Resolutions Already Failed?

 Are you setting New Year’s resolutions for 2018?

I’m going to give you 5 reasons why they might have already failed.


Since the beginning of the year, I’ve seen more than fifty blog posts, advertisements, and commercials talking about your resolutions for 2018, maybe you have too.


This isn’t that kind of post. I’m not the kind of woman who sets New Year’s resolutions. I never have been.


This year is no different.


However, I do set goals for myself as a professional, a wife, and a neighbor.


Last year, I did something really crazy. I created a goal page for the year in the front of my bullet journal.


Not just the typical goals either.


I picked a few things that I’ve always wanted to do, like a bucket list. But I never accomplished them because something held me back from reaching them. More about that later.


Here are the 5 things that may have already set you up for failure in 2018:


1. You picked resolutions that are unrealistic to the point of delusional.  This is what you might call a wish. I had a dream once that I’d meet Freddie Prince Jr. while strolling around the Mall of America and he’d fall madly in love with me. Unless you’ve got a fairy godmother with a magic wand, your chances of meeting a real-life prince and being asked to marry him are slim to— 


Meghan Markle shows off her wedding ring as she poses with Prince Harry in Kensington Palace


I know, I know, it happened to Megan Markel. But let’s just say the odds are not in your favor. So, try to set goals that are actually attainable for you and where you are in life without them relying on someone else’s behavior to be fulfilled.

2. Your goals are too simplistic. If you’re setting goals that are too easy to reach or fall into the category of  ‘realistic’ then you might have made a mistake. The term ‘realistic goals’ has always bothered me. For example, there is a difference between a goal and a good idea.  It might be a good idea to set your alarm in the morning to make sure that you get up on time for work. Or another one, I’ll eat off of smaller plates. It’s just a small step in a bigger goal picture. Besides that, it’s boring. Setting for yourself easy or ‘realistic’ goals will be so boring, in fact, that by February 2018 you’ll have forgotten that you set them. Make for yourself goals that are somewhere in between a fairytale wedding at Buckingham Palace and white toast.


3. You don’t have a plan.  Perhaps your goals are fitting nicely between something attainable and a dream that you’ve always had. That’s fine and good but if you do not have a plan to achieve it it’s like setting off on a road trip with no map. Now I’m all for someone getting in their car and just letting the road take them. But without a map, you could end up completely lost or at a dead end. To avoid having your goals derailed or not benefiting you in any way, create actionable steps that move you in the direction of your goals and their success. Like your goals, write down these steps in a place you can refer to them often and remind yourself of why you’re doing them. Have you ever created a vision board?


image of plan with list


4. Accountability. Without accountability, there are no consequences for your actions. If being a five-year-old and getting caught with your hand in a cookie jar didn’t have any consequences we would all be doing it, all the time. Without consequences, we’re not motivated to complete big tasks. Now our accountability or consequences can come in many forms. For some people, a more positive reinforcement is applied such as earning money, food rewards, and gift rewards. For others, the need for more negative reinforcement needs to be applied. In this case, the removal or taking of money, food, or some creature comforts would work.

Whatever you choose to do is up to you. I personally can’t tell you what would work better a positive or negative reinforcement, however, you know yourself pick one. If you don’t know yourself I suggest you seek more professional help. All joking aside, applying both methods can also do the trick. Have you ever considered an accountability group?


5. Last but not least, there is one final thing that is preventing you from reaching your goals:


If you’re experiencing sweaty palms, a queasy stomach, or some other mental block when you consider your goals for the year it means you’re afraid of something.


Are you afraid you’re going to succeed?

Are you afraid you’re going to fail?

Are you afraid of what others will think of you?


I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be afraid. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid. It’s what you do with that fear that matters.


Back to my goals from 2017. So like I mentioned earlier I wrote down my goals using words and pictures to inspire me and then I went after them in a big way. Take a look at my bullet journal goal page from 2017.


bullet journal 2017 goals image


I thought the biggest thing that I could ever do in my life was to write for a living. Publishing my first novels, changed my life but not in the way that I thought they would. Something that had always scared me was now behind me. The fear of not finishing, the fear of success, the fear of judgment all faded when I hit the publish button and put my books out for the world to see.


It was only after I had published that I realized that I’d been afraid. That fear kept me from doing something that I loved.


What about you, what has fear prevented you from accomplishing in the past? Are you determined to put fear behind you in 2018?


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