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Why most new year’s resolutions fail

Why most new year’s resolutions fail

Lots of people will have started 2022 by making new year’s resolutions. However, the majority will have failed before we even reach the end of January. But why? We explain the reasons why most new year’s resolutions fail and offer advice to help you succeed as well as services to support you.

They don’t have a strong enough goal

Most new year’s resolutions fail because they focus on achieving something, but don’t know why they want to achieve it. If you don’t have a strong enough reason to do something, you are far more likely to give up when things get tough.

I have spoken to hundreds of people who set themselves financial goals to save more money, start investing, or grow a property portfolio. But it’s surprisingly common for them to not know why! They know what they want, but not why they want it.

A common goal amongst clients I have worked with is to generate a passive income to replace their salary. However, it’s less common for them to know why. If you had enough income to not need to work, what would you do with your time? Are you unhappy in the job you’re in, or do you have something meaningful you want to do instead? Maybe you wouldn’t leave work but want security in case of redundancy? Or do you want additional income to supplement your lifestyle?

It’s vital that you know why your goal is important to you. When willpower starts to wane, it’s a lot easier to stay on track when you can focus on a meaningful end goal. If it’s important enough to you, it’s far more likely you’ll make it a priority.

They focus on the result not the process

Whenever anyone starts a new year’s resolution, it’s because they are trying to achieve something. Common goals can be to get fit, lose weight, or save money. However, without a process to follow they have almost no chance of success.

They know what, but not how.

Let’s say your resolution was to get fit and lose weight. You know you need to eat healthy and exercise more. But if you don’t know how to prepare healthy food that tastes good, it won’t be long before you’re craving a takeaway. If you find the gym intimidating and don’t know how to make your workouts fun, you won’t stick to them.

With any goal, you need a clear process to follow that’s realistic, sustainable, and even fun if you are to stand any chance of success. First, break down the bigger goal into smaller more achievable steps. Try to make the process enjoyable and reward yourself along the way, it shouldn’t be a chore. As you successfully pass each milestone in the process it will boost motivation and help you stay on track.

Make sure you have a clear plan and be sure to enjoy the process!

They lack support

Let’s assume you know what you want to achieve, have a strong reason why, and a good idea of how to go about it. Now you just need to put the work in and do it. Easy! So why do most new year’s resolutions still fail?

Almost everything that’s worth achieving will take time. It’s a long-term process.

At some point there will be challenges and things will get hard. This is where motivation is needed most, and it can be a lot easier if you have someone to support you. Someone to keep you accountable and re-focus on your “why” when times are hard makes a huge difference.

Try to find a friend who shares your goal and work through the process together. Alternatively, work with someone who has already achieved the same goal and use their advice and experience to keep you motivated and accountable.

They focus on the negatives

A lot of new year’s resolutions fail because they are framed negatively from the outset. How many people have made resolutions to give up alcohol, smoking, or unhealthy food? Probably most people at some time or other. But to not do something feels negative.

Instead set positive actions focused on positive results that align with your values.

If your resolution fills you with dread or makes you feel miserable, once your willpower gives out, your resolution will fail, and you are no further forward. However, if your resolution is fun or makes you feel excited, it has infinitely more chance of success.

Many people avoid planning their finances for exactly this reason. They see it as boring or worry that it means giving things up to save every penny. However, a proper financial plan should leave you feeling excited, otherwise it won’t be achievable.

Focus on positives, avoid negatives.

They want to rush the process

So much content online and on social media makes success look easy. The internet is full of get-rich-quick schemes that look too good to be true (and almost always are). But the truth is that anything worth achieving is going to take time, effort, and commitment. Many new year’s resolutions fail simply because people underestimate how much work is involved.

The key to success is to break down a big goal into smaller more achievable goals over a realistic timeframe. Set yourself achievable steps and milestones along the way.

Most people overestimate what they can achieve in the short term but underestimate what they can achieve in the long term. In my experience, almost any goal can be achievable given enough time.


So those are the main reasons why most new year’s resolutions fail. But how can you give yourself the best chance of success in 2022?

  1. Set strong goals that are relevant and meaningful to you.
  2. Have a clear and realistic plan of how to make your goal achievable.
  3. Always focus on positive actions and be sure to make the process enjoyable.
  4. Work with someone to keep you motivated and accountable.

Hopefully the points above will help you to achieve all the success you desire in 2022, but if you feel you would benefit from further help, please get in touch.

At Fintentional we work with our clients to understand what is most important to them so they can set powerful and meaningful goals. We then put together a clear plan of how to achieve your goals that should leave you excited by what can be achieved. Our speciality is property investment, and we support our clients to build portfolios tailored to achieving your biggest individual lifestyle goals. Along your journey we provide practical support, including coaching and deal sourcing, as well as accountability to keep you on track. Let 2022 be the year that you take intentional

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