Why Resolutions don’t work

by | Jan 23, 2019 | Uncategorized

Resolutions don’t work for a reason…

Like many, you probably have a list of resolutions, new goals, and aspirations for the new year. But resolutions don’t work for so many of us!

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve rung in the new year and I wanted to share some information so you could understand why you may be facing some challenges in staying accountable to your resolutions.

You may have noticed your gym is packed in the new year and those new eager faces begin to trickle out by February.

There are a number of factors that play into why so many resolutions don’t work. Here’s a look at the behind-the-scenes factors you need to be aware of to help you successfully achieve your goals with less struggle.

1. Lack-motivated goals

What does that mean? Often when we set a new resolution, we are choosing a goal because we are dissatisfied with our current situation. A lack of health, lack of wealth, lack of freedom, lack of fun, or a lack of fulfilment. We set goals to increase our physical health because we perceive a lack of health. When we inadvertently set a goal because we are silently displeased with our current situation. The driving force for change is to distance ourselves from what we don’t want. As we move away from the lack and closer to our goal our motivation and drive diminishes in a direct relationship with the original driving force. Meaning, the farther away you get from the struggle, discomfort or challenge you were looking to overcome the lower your motivation or drive to keep going.

A good way to determine if your goal is in part motivated by lack, ask yourself:
Are you currently satisfied with your current situation?
WHY do you want to achieve this goal you are setting for yourself.

(Let’s be clear here, it’s OK to want more then what you currently have. The goal here is to dig a little deeper and to discern what portion,  if any, is lack-motivation playing a role in your goal setting.)

Here’s a worksheet to support you in clarifying potential challenges in staying on track so you can do something about it. Are your goals are desired and/or lack based:  (Resolution Worksheet)

Get the worksheet

2. Your goals are outside your current comfort zone

Of course they are! What’s important here is to recognize that you are adaptable! You will adapt to your current environment and that environment will become your comfort zone. Your mind, emotions, and physiology adapt to your current patterns and experiences.  Consequently, everything you want that you don’t already have or experience lives outside your comfort zone.

For example, you experience 45% stress daily, and you start a new regiment that reduces your daily stress intake down to 10%, awesome right? You would think every aspect of you would be jumping for joy, but that’s not the case. What I’ve noticed is the average person has an adaptation ratio average of 20%, meaning, that in most cases that’s how much they can adapt naturally. Change needs to happen on all levels and encompasses your mindset (neuroplasticity), emotional body (feelings/hormones) and physiology (cell receptors).

To simplify what is a complex topic, here’s a general analogy.

Think of an emotional state just like ingesting a substance, like alcohol. Those who are used to drinking will be able to tolerate a few drinks, those who never drink will find themselves tipsy after just a drink or two. The exact same thing applies to all your experiences.

2-3 weeks seems to be the average time most can tolerate being outside of their adapted environment,  at which time the mind, body and emotions begin to push you back toward the centre of your comfort zone.

3. Too much at once

Big amazing goals are golden; implementation is where many set themselves up for failure. Making a number of changes all at once overloads your system. Changing your routine, your eating Resolutions don't work - cartoon outline of a woman juggling 8 balls standing on one leg and looking terrified with credit to Mastering Ascension.comhabits or whatever else your new habits are… Realize that it’s not just that one (1) change you are making, but all the direct and indirect changes and choices that come along with it.

The best approach to shifting your habits is to choose 1-2 easy things. Do them consistently for a week or two, then add more once those initial things become effortless habits. Taking on too much at once will catapult you outside of your adaptation comfort zone. in a couple of weeks, you start forgetting or find it challenging to keep it up. When it comes to sustainable adaptation to change, slow and steady wins the race.

4. Your annual goals are stack up in the present moment

Resolutions don't work - woman in a pant suit and yellow silk blouse holding a massive pile of paperwork labelled "now"
We often jump into the new year with a boatload of goals, yay, that’s awesome! However, what tends to happen is that mentally, emotionally and energetically you have all of the outcomes stacked up in the present moment.

As you move towards your goals you will transition from your current state of being to your desired state of being. What often happens is we find ourselves overwhelmed and crushed under a year’s worth of goals at one point in time, the present moment.

A good way to address that is to break down your goals with reasonable future target dates, and for today, you only look at the small actionable steps that you need to take now to get to where you want to be (remembering point # 3) Don’t forget to celebrate all your baby steps and give yourself the momentum that comes with daily wins!

resolutions don't work - goal timeline split into today, tomorrow, this week, next week, this month, next month, this quarter, next quarter


Ready to get serious about your goals with joy and ease? Then you are ready to add ThetaHealing to your toolbox!

Explore my upcoming seminars or dive right into my self-directed programs.

Shine on!

Anik J. Malenfant
International Radio Show Host
Transformational Coach and Educator




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