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Why your Resolutions fail and what to do about it

Every New Year's we make a resolution. Failing to accomplish our resolution we make it again. It is time to break the cycle. This year success is yours.

This is the year to change your life!

In a few short days, millions of people will make a New Years resolution.

Each resolution represents our sincere desire to craft a better life for ourselves.

There are resolutions to lose weight. We want to make more money. There is a desire start exercising, read more, travel, and spend time with family.

If you could go back and revisit all the past New Year’s resolutions what would they say about who you are today?

Every New Year's we make a resolution. Failing to accomplish our resolution we make it again. It is time to break the cycle. This year success is yours.

When I was younger, I could not wait for the ball to drop on December 31st. I was filled with elation. The year shifted from what was to what is suppose to be.

I enjoyed watching my family make fools of themselves.

Each year at midnight, we would all run outside and scream “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

The best part? Everyone else did the same. At midnight, we had a short block party. People screaming and shouting. Making their joy known to all. At some point, you would see some grown man walking around in a diaper. His job was to portray the New Years Baby. Although it was funny. It was also disturbing.

You know what I did not hear?

No one screamed out their resolution. 

All we did was scream out our excitement, but we never shared how we were planning on making our lives better. We just went back into our homes and slept until morning.

Silently, we made our resolutions. 

We marched through the year with our resolutions on our hearts. When the next year approached we would make the same resolutions. 

Why? Because we never accomplished the dreams of our hearts. 

We could say that our failed resolutions came from the fact that we did not try. It could be that many of us are procrastinators at heart.

You can try to make yourself feel better for not accomplishing your resolution.


The truth is still the truth. 

We are not getting any better.

We are making the same resolutions year after year without getting better results. 

As the ball drops and the clock strikes midnight, it declares that the old year is gone and the new year is here.

The shifting of years shows a shifting in our hearts as well.

But nothing seems to change.

Professor Timothy Pychyl, Carleton University, states that resolutions are a form of “cultural procrastination.” He believes that resolutions are, “an effort to reinvent oneself.”  

When you read a little further into Timothy Pychyl’s work you come to a conclusion. Professor Pychyl believes that resolutions are “people trying to motivate themselves into something better.”


You cannot motivate yourself out a bad habit. 

As hard as we try to tell ourselves that, “This year will be better” we will be stuck at the same place next year. 

Making more resolutions expecting different results each year. 

Saying, “This year will be different!”

No, it won’t.

It is insanity to think that this year will be different with no real plan in place to make a difference. 

[bctt tweet=” Insanity is to think that this year will be different without changing anything. #realchange” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

Albert Einstein once said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Every New Year's we make a resolution. Failing to accomplish our resolution we make it again. It is time to break the cycle. This year success is yours.

We all want a better life.

But we must have a bit of insanity. Each year we try to do the same thing over and over again hoping for something different to happen. 

You and I do not want to relive the hell we just came from.

Yet we continue to make the same resolution after resolution.

Here is a thought:



Crafting GOALS

A resolution is just a dream with no real way to get there.

[bctt tweet=”A resolution is just a dream with no real way to get there. #resolution2017 #goal ” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

Resolutions are hopes and wishes for a better life. Without an actionable goal, you will just continue in the same cycle as you always have. Wish and Hope, make resolutions and repeat next year. Nothing ever changes. 

A goal is a powerful series of actionable steps to obtain your dream. 

[bctt tweet=”A goal is a powerful series of actionable steps to obtain your dream. #dreambig #setgoals” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

When I put my dream down on paper. I move my resolution from a far away dream to possible reality. 

Write your goals down, put steps to them, and start walking those steps out I can finally see your dreams come true!

A goal that is not written down is just a dream. 

[bctt tweet=”A goal that is not written down is just a dream. #dreamagain #setthegoal #itsyouryear” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

Our dreams are beautiful. They are the embodiment of everything we hope to accomplish in life. The physical representation of the song our soul is trying to sing.

It is time to let those songs sing. 

The time has come to start living your dream.

Here are some practical thoughts that I am walking through with you.


We think that it’s circumstances that are stealing our joy and causing us so much pain. I would say that is only part of it.

The lion’s share of our pain is from the habits we have created to avoid pain. 

There are many who are keen to procrastination. Others lash out. Many are prone to anger at the slightest drop of the hat.

It all stems from our habits.

Truth: We are getting what we got in life because of the habits we have built.

[bctt tweet=”We are getting what we got in life because of the habits we have built. #badhabits #changeit” username=”jim_Burgoon”]

Every year we craft better resolutions. Stronger wording. Higher accountability. Thinking this year is the year it’ll all change for me.

Year after year we fail to accomplish our resolutions. 

We fail to change our lives.

If you want to change your life you have to change your habits. 

Where do you start? How do you change them? What habits are sabotaging your dreams?


I think we have to realize that not all habits are bad.

A Good Habit is a positive behavior pattern.

Some common examples of good habits include reading books, great sleeping patterns, exercising,  eating right, and a good hygiene routine.

A bad habit is a negative behavior pattern.

Some common examples of bad habits include procrastination, fidgeting, overspending, stereotyping, gossips, bullying, making resolutions your do not keep, and nail-biting.

We have to CELEBRATE the good habits and ERADICATE the bad ones.

Take some time and celebrate yourself.

Celebrate the good habits that you have created!

Then there are this nasty bad habits.

Bad habits keep us from our goals and we must eradicate them. 

I warn you. Eradicating your bad habits will not be easy. At times, you will feel like a failure. They will seem as if they will never go away.

Then one day (After 30 days of not doing them to be exact 😉 they are gone!)

Ask yourself these questions:

[checklist text_color=”” icon_color=”” fontawesome_icon=”fa fa-star”]
  • What do you want in life?
  • What will it take for you to accomplish your dream?

Here is the main 2 question I want you to focus on:

[checklist text_color=”” icon_color=”” fontawesome_icon=”fa fa-star”]
  • What habits are helping me achieve my goals?
  • What habits are stopping me from achieving my goals?

When you start to honestly answer 3 and 4 here is what you need to do:


If you set a goal you are setting yourself up for success! 

Picture this:

You are financially free, not held back by a regular job, working out more, spending meaningful time family, and enjoying your life.

You are living the dream.

Then all a sudden your dream ends.

Why? Because the bad habits that you ignored showed up and sabotaged your dream. Now you cannot live in what you accomplished because of the habits you are carrying.

I love the Acronym SMART for goal setting. This is not originally mine, but it is very powerful.

S – specific, significant, stretching

M – measurable, meaningful, motivational

A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented

T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable

Goals that follow THE SMART WAY are goals that get accomplished.

Let me make it practical: (This is my REAL goal this year)

[checklist text_color=”” icon_color=”” fontawesome_icon=”fa fa-star”]
  • S: I want to lose 15-20 pounds. I want to be 180-185 by the end of the year.
  • M: I will weigh myself at the beginning of the month and at the end to chart my progress through the month.
  • A: My wife will hold me accountable to this goal.
  • R: Although I would love to lose 20 lbs in the next 2 months. I do not believe this is healthy. I have a bad relationship with food. It will take me the next several months to adhere to a diet that fits my needs. I will also choose an exercise routine that best suits my need.
  • T: I will strive to lose 1 to 1.5 lbs a month throughout the year.

As you can see it is a doable and realistic goal that I can TOTALLY ROCK this year.

This year is YOUR year.

No more resolutions

It’s time to set goals and walk into our dream.

I would love to hear from you. In the comments below let me know a goal that you are setting this year!

About the Author Jim

  • Christina Berger says:

    I loved reading this article. It makes a lot of sense to set goals and actually write them down than creating resolutions with the expectation that everything will become easy.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! I have found that a goal that is written down is a goal that gets done. Start small with 2 or 3 goals and work on them. Once you get a handle on those you can modify them or add more.

  • I totally agree with this post! I never used to write down my resolutions, and of course they never worked. Writing it down, and checking on progress regularly, is the best way to have a fighting chance of keeping those! I’m working on that with my blog this year.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! I am so glad that you brought up that point. You need all the elements, that you mentioned, to create and accomplish your goals. If you need help with your blog let me know I would be happy to offer any assistance.

  • We don’t make new years resolutions either. We continually make goals throughout the year when things get ‘stuck’. So if we are stuck at new years we will generate goals. If we aren’t stuck, than we don’t!

    • Jim says:

      I love this comment 🙂 The concept of getting stuck is something I am going to blog about later this year. I have checked your site out as well and would love to chat with you about being vegan. I find it facinating. Thank you for joining the conversation!

  • Bethany says:

    I love the idea of putting a positive spin on it. All of your thoughts are heavily rooted in behavior change psych, if only we could just follow them!

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your thoughts! I believe that much of what we have in life can be linked back to our habits. If you want to change your life you start with your habits. Also, I think following them starts with 1 step at a time. So often we want to have automatic change, but if we would just change a little bit at a time we would see a massive turn around over time. Thank you again for comments!! I hope we can continue the conversation 🙂

  • Jade says:

    This post is spot on. I definitely need to make sure that I actually make my resolutions are reality by making smarter goals for myself to achieve them.

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for joining the conversation!! I pray a lot more people have your perspective! If we would just make smater goals, create actionable steps, and then be held accountable to those steps the world would be open to us!

  • Meghan Capps says:

    I love the accountability of writing down your resolutions to transform them into goals. Very inspiring! I will have to apply this to my resolutions this year.

    • Jim says:

      A goal that isn’t written down is just a dream 🙂 When you write it down you force yourself to think through it, work with it, and hopefully add steps to it! Once you write them down, I know that you will see your goals accomplished and your 2017 be the best year ever!! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  • Brittany says:

    You make some really great points! I enjoyed reading it!

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for taking the time! I pray that you can use them to accomplish your goal and make 2017 your greatest year ever. 🙂

  • Bianca says:

    Such a timely post for the new year…great tips!

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely agree I think these are great ways to make sure you that stay on track and focus on your goals and resolutions. Great post!

    Foirell | http://www.citygirlrell.com

  • Lisa Sell says:

    Love this post! I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution and never will. I like to think that I’ve become more aware of when change is needed in my life as I’ve got older.

    • Jim says:

      I love how introspective and postive you are! I feel that the older I get the more intuitive I should be about my interanal live and what needs to change. Thanks you for joining the conversation!!

  • I love it! Goals with specific details and dates are what make your dreams happen!

  • amanda says:

    very wise words – thanks for sharing them at this time of year

  • Ashlea says:

    This is so true. Everyone makes resolutions but never follow through with them. I was lucky enough to actually follow through with mine last year and that was to lose weight. I lost 30lbs yay.

  • Kari says:

    I always make my resolutions to grow, do better, and be a better person. As long as I’m making improvements on all areas of my life then I’d say the year was a success. It’s unrealistic at least for me to try to change my habits for the sake of a resolution.

    • Jim says:

      ” It’s unrealistic at least for me to try to change my habits for the sake of a resolution.” That is a powerful statement! Thank you for sharing it!

  • Jenni Petrey says:

    This is a great read, very thought provoking. I’ve never been one to set resolutions. Not because I have failed in the past but more that I’d prefer to have long term goals to achieve.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for the kind words! I use to make resolutions all the time, but now I am simply goals oriented. I would love to encourage you to add some short term goals (If you haven’t already 😉 ) to attach to your long term goals. Quick victories build momentum to reach the long term victories. Thank you again for joinging the conversation!!

  • So true, great post, very well written. Cheers to the new year!

  • Kait says:

    I believe in making goals not resolutions. I also like to write them down to make them more attainable!

    • Jim says:

      You have the heart behind this blog! Everything we do must be pratical, portable, and attainable! Thanks for the comment!

      • Sue says:

        Hey Jim so I heard something good today that I wanted to share about resolutions somebody said u don’t do what other people want you to do and I think sometimes if not most of the time we do that and think it as well. Setting goals should be something in your heart that truly will make u happy but goals are hard to stick by and keep realistically.But everything deserved a chance at trying don’t u think

        • Jim says:

          Great reply! Goals are hard, yes, but with the right steps and celebration points they are easier to accomplish. Most people just change the words around, but they never to the extra steps to ensure that their goals come to pass. Example: People will make a goal to lose weight and a resolution to lose weight. The goal should have action steps to achieve it. The resolution is usually just words! Thanks for the post!

  • Jen says:

    This is so true on resolutions. Goals should replace it any given day.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation!!! I am in total agreement with you here! With every goal we make (and complete) we come 1 step closer to accomplishing our dreams!

  • Dan says:

    Fascinating and important article. Our habits can trap us in self-perpetuating cycles that impact on our well-being.

  • Great post! I’ve been spending time thinking about my own goals recently, and have set up a post about it for later this week on my blog. I don’t set resolutions either – they just seem like lofty wishes to me, and a bit pointless – but I do find that more specific goalsetting is quite helpful!

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! I totally agree. Resolutions are loft wishes. That is why I stopped making them. The more specific the goal the more likely you can create steps to complete it! I would be very interested in reading your take on goal setting.

  • Katrina Jean Carter says:

    Well said and a great way to begin 2017! I don’t believe in making drastic changes in life but rather, in making good, healthy, conscious decisions daily until this becomes a habit. 🙂 cheers to a great year ahead!

    • Jim says:

      I love this reply! Thank you for joining the conversation! I believe, as you do, that small decisions done daily equals huge impact over time. 🙂

  • Robin Maisel says:

    I love to see the resolutions being ditched. Who wants to know that they’re setting themselves up for failure. In order to achieve, goals must be set. The SMART acronym is perfect. Makes it easy to remember and easy to understand.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for commenting! I hope that the method works for you in 2017! I know I am going to be putting it to use.

  • Glenda says:

    I agree with you that every year most have us fail accomplishing the prior year resolution. This year I decided not to make a New Years Day resolution instead work on trying to make myself better. This way if I don’t accomplish the things I promised myself I was going to do, I won’t be disappointed.

    • Jim says:

      I love the realness of your reply! I think that if you create a few goals (1-2) you will see greater results!! Let me know if I can help!

  • Zim says:

    Thank you for the truth on resolutions. I also prefer to set measurable goals, and no more than 2 of them.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation! I love how you keep it to 2. I have a tendancy to overdo it on goals. I am learning to have 2-3 goals that transcend into multiple areas in my life. For example, I am a church pastor and an online business person. Instead of having 2 seperate goals I have 1 that applies to both: Better as we get bigger. It focuses on quality as we grow in quantity.

  • Goals are so much better than resolutions. I think when we make a goal, or come up with a goal, we know it means making a plan. Does that mean we’ll definitely meet our goals, obviously not, but at least we know we need to make a bigger effort and decide which steps we need to take in order to get there.

    • Jim says:

      You are right on! Just because we have a goal doesn’t mean we are going meet them, but we have the everything we need to meet them. Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • Great article! Could not agree more with you. It’s so important to have realistic an actionable goals that you know you are going to commit too. I’ll always refer back to mine every month to make sure i’m on track and taking action.

    • Jim says:

      Refering back to your goals frequently are essential to completing them. I love that! Thank you for your thoughts!

  • WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for
    personal health

    • Jim says:

      I am very happy that the article spoke to you! I hope that you can put it into practice. It is the difference between wishing for a dream and working toward obtaining it! Thank you for joining the conversation!

  • Joei says:

    So true my friend. I enjoyed reading…article has me thinking for sure. #goals

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