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Why Resolutions Fail

Apr. 12, 2016 M46 Project

Every year people assess where they are in their personal life, relationships, and their careers. Based on that assessment most people will create resolutions to accomplish throughout the year. And though you may start out well intended, you may find yourself not seeing the results that you intended when you initially started.

There are numerous things that factor into whether or not you will be able to be successful at accomplishing your resolutions, which I addressed in my series New Year, New You on But there is one major thing that people tend to forget that I want to talk about today. The one thing is ‘the reason why most resolutions fail’…and it’s because you don’t incorporate a change of behavior with it.

The decision alone isn’t enough to make a change. For some of you, the things that you want changed are things that have been an embedded behavior for years. The culture of your marriage and relationships, habits of how you spend your free time that take away from time with family, working out and losing weight, or starting that new business all requires time dedicated to it.

Until you master changing the behavior that got you where you are today, and incorporating new behaviors that will take in the direction of where you really want to go, you will not see the success with your resolution.

Behavior is so important that research indicates that 80% of information that you receive will be forgotten if it’s not acted on in some way within 30-60 days. When I say forgotten, I don’t mean it’s a distant memory. Research shows that the information is wiped from the hard drive of your brain and erased completely!

If you want to accomplish your goals, you must find a way to change what you are doing.

Here are 3 Keys to change your behavior:

Key #1: Be intentional.
Scripture encourages us to let our
“yes be yes, and our no be no” (James 5:12). If you are going to make a change in your behavior you have to commit to it 100%! Anything less than that shows that the goal you set is something that would be nice if it happened, but not a goal that you have made the decision to make happen.

If you want a marriage that’s full of love and support, be intentional in modeling that and only saying and doing things that reflect the decision, not the current culture. If you want to lose weight and be more active, ask yourself “How bad do I really want this?” If your goal isn’t important enough to integrate intentionality, then it’s really not that important to you. The more important a goal is to you, the more likely you will be to initiate a behavior change.

Key #2: Set reminders and triggers.
Because some of the issues we want results in are a part of either a lifetime of habits that we have, or a part of a dysfunctional culture that we may be a part of, setting reminders and triggers are a great way to bring your goal to mind. In life, we all have a rhythm or pattern to what we do and how we do it. Whether it’s which side of the bed you sleep on, how you brush your teeth, your route to go to work, or how you organize your closet, we all have a pattern.

In order to accomplish your goals, you may need to set reminders or create triggers in order to help you break any patterns that will make it difficult for you to accomplish your goal. If you like to stop at your favorite fast food restaurant after work to treat yourself after a hard day at work, but you have a goal of losing weight, you will need to create a new trigger to reward yourself. If you tend to get in the doghouse for not giving yourself enough time to make your wife’s birthday, or anniversary special, you may need to set a trigger in your calendar to remind you to make a reservation at her favorite restaurant a couple months ahead of time.

Walking through the front door of your house could serve as a trigger for you! Be creative in setting reminders and creating triggers so you give yourself the best chance of accomplishing your goals.

Key #3: Establish accountability.
It’s been said that accountability is the
“actions toward or involving others that reflect the integrity of the person you want to be.” If you are really serious about accomplishing your goals, you will ask someone to hold you accountable for the goals that you have set. People that aren’t willing to ask people to hold them accountable are most likely not serious about accomplishing the task.

The reason why accountability is so important is because at some point you will need help, support, and forgiveness. Your accountability partner will help to keep you on track and moving forward. You will need someone who is for you, believes in you, and will tell you the truth to help you on your path to accomplish your goal. Without the support of others, you are less likely to be successful.

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