8 Reasons Your New Year’s Resolutions Fail (And How to Beat Them)

The pen is mightier than the slump: Write down and post your goals to keep you motivated.

Whether you’re looking to go to the gym more often, raise more money for your nonprofit, or keep better communication with friends and family (hi, Mom!), there are plenty of potential hurdles out there for your New Year’s Resolutions. Here are a few reasons why resolutions fail, and what you can do to avoid the potholes.

You Don’t Make Them Visible.

Don’t just think about your goals. Write them down on pen and paper, and look at them every day. (Some people say putting them on the refrigerator or mirror is helpful.) I suggest switching the location of your goals every week, so that they remain top-of-mind.

You Don’t Share Them With Friends.

Don’t be shy. Tell your friends about what you’re trying to achieve. You’re more committed and more likely to stick to your goals when you publicize them, and you’re more easily able to find support from your network. Check out some of the resolutions Katie, our London Event Evangelist, recently published, to help inspire you.

You Haven’t Recruited Others.

Bring that support to the next level by getting your friends involved, too. Is your goal to attend one gym class each week? Recruit a friend to attend class with you. How about reaching a new fundraising goal this month? Find a friend who is passionate about the same cause and partner up for your next fundraiser. Check out more tips on getting event support from your friends from Sara, our Boston Event Evangelist.

You Aren’t Being Realistic.

Take the time to think about the why you’re working toward this goal, and then plan the steps it will take to get you there.

Make those steps small and specific. Rather than something like “Keep the house clean”, try it in stages, such as “Make the bed each morning before I leave for work.” This will help make the goals more manageable, and will build your success toward that larger vision.

You Haven’t Looked for Inspiration.

Keep reminding yourself why you chose your goal. Read articles or blog posts each week that motivate you to keep going. Take quotes and info from those pieces and store them in a place you’ll see – whether emailing them to yourself or putting them on your desktop at work.

Your Goals Are Too Big.

It may be a New Year’s Resolution for 2012, but you’re more likely to be successful if you break it into a smaller timeline.

Start with day-to-day, week-to-week, or event-to-event. By narrowing the focus and breaking it into smaller goals, you’ll chip away at reaching the greater aim. If you have a big fundraising goal for the year, scale it to each quarter. Check out more fundraising planning tips from Brady Hahn to get you started.

You Haven’t Asked for Guidance.

You can’t do it alone, so be sure to ask for help or insight along the way. Are you hoping to better market your events? Ask your event planner friends for their insight. Join a networking group, either in person or online, and ask people questions.

You Didn’t Set Measurements.

Know how you will measure results. If your goal is to better market your event, how will you prove that you did that? With increased impressions? Improved ticket sales? A faster sell-out rate? Once you have metrics to measure, it will be easier to work toward that goal.

What are some other dangerous distractions? Comment below, and include your own tips. Let’s see what ideas people have for keeping the motivation going!

This post is part of a series focusing on bettering your well-being in 2012. See some of our other posts, and let us know what you want to hear from us this year!