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Why Your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions Failed and How To Succeed in 2019

What is the number one resolution people make on January 1?

You got it!  Lose weight.  

And no surprise here: they made a new year’s resolution to run 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. 

You don’t need the date of January 1 to come up with resolutions.  The problem with January 1 is that February 1 rolls around and the very best laid out plans often go awry. 

Don’t let that happen to you in 2019!  Here are three simple hacks for fail-proof resolutions. 

Problem 1: Resolutions Are Too Overwhelming

Let’s say your resolution is to pay off $8000 of credit card debt and medical bills.  Since you’re giving yourself an entire year to pay down your debt, you end up procrastinating or worse yet, splurging on the iPhone X, telling yourself you’ll make up for it next month.  The longer you procrastinate, the bigger and more overwhelming your once reasonable resolution can feel. 

Hack #1:  The big picture is important.  Connecting your goal to the present makes it easier to stick with.  Instead of vowing to pay off $8000 by the end of next December, make it your resolution to put $100 toward your credit card or medical bill debt each week. 

Problem #2: Resolutions Are Too Vague

“Find a better job” is a worthy resolution, but it’s a bit vague.  It’s fuzzy what “better” means to you.  It’s difficult to decide on a course of action when you’re not sure what your desired outcome is.  Many resolutions are vague.  Get in shape. Lose weight. Eat healthy.  Worry less. 

Hack #2:  Your resolutions should be SMART:  specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.  When you set specific guidelines for your resolutions, it makes easier to come up with an action plan. 

“Drink more water” might become “drink 80 ounces of water a day.”

Problem 3: You Tripped Down The First Step

The first step is when we try to buy a better version of yourself instead of doing the actual work to accomplish it.  The idea of purchasing the iPhone X can feel like we’re tracking our fitness goals with the newest fitness app.  The purchase of the iPhone can give us a rush coupled with feelings of satisfaction. 

The reality?  It hasn’t accomplished anything other than spending money on the newest tech gadget. 

Worse yet?  Sometimes the rush is enough to lure you away from your original resolution altogether.  That feeling of satisfaction that comes with the purchase often is good enough that we don’t feel the need to actually go out for a run and use that newest fitness app.

Hack #3:  Start your goal with the resources you already have.  The best way to get started and avoided tripping over the first step is to do the best you can with what you already have.  Start small.  Really small.  Like taking a quick walk around the block every day.  Make sure you’ve already developed the habit first. 

Loretta Holmes, MA CMHWCis an ADHD and Anxiety Coach at Bella ADHD Coaching and Bella Anxiety Coaching. Before pursuing a career in coaching, she worked as a special education teacher. Today, she combines her skills in teaching, psychology, and coaching to help humans feel like superheroes. Connect with Loretta at


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