ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

New Year 2024 is almost here and so is our ambitious spirit, seeking refreshing and effective strategies to enhance our goal-setting approach, increase resilience and create a more sustainable path to achieving our personal and professional aspirations in the coming year. Setting New Year resolutions is a common tradition yet the high rate of failure to achieve them prompts reflection on the underlying reasons.

New Year 2024: 8 reasons why we fail to achieve New Year resolutions (Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Santosh Bangar, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Global Hospitals in Mumbai’s Parel, revealed 8 reasons why we fail to achieve New Year resolutions:

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  • First, unrealistic goals often set the stage for disappointment. Overambitious aspirations may lead to burnout and a sense of failure, undermining motivation.
  • Secondly, a lack of specificity can hinder success. Vague resolutions like “get fit” or “save money” lack clear parameters, making it challenging to measure progress or stay focused. Setting precise, achievable milestones is crucial in maintaining momentum.
  • Third, inadequate planning contributes to resolution derailment. Without a well-thought-out strategy, individuals may struggle to navigate obstacles or incorporate new habits into their existing routines. A detailed plan enhances the likelihood of success.
  • Fourth, a failure to address underlying motivations can lead to wavering commitment. Resolutions rooted in external pressures rather than personal desires may lack the intrinsic motivation necessary for long-term adherence.
  • Fifth, the absence of a support system can prove detrimental. Sharing resolutions with friends or family creates accountability and encouragement. Without a network of support, individuals may find it challenging to persevere when faced with setbacks.
  • Sixth, impatience and a desire for immediate results are common pitfalls. Realising that change takes time and embracing the journey’s incremental nature is vital for sustained commitment.
  • Seventh, a negative mindset can sabotage resolutions. Focusing on perceived failures instead of learning opportunities can lead to discouragement. Cultivating a positive outlook and celebrating small victories fuels ongoing determination.
  • Lastly, failure to reassess and adapt resolutions can hinder progress. Life is dynamic, and circumstances change. Regularly evaluating goals and adjusting them accordingly ensures relevance and feasibility.

Recognising these eight common pitfalls — unrealistic goals, lack of specificity, inadequate planning, unaddressed motivations, lack of support, impatience, negative mindset and failure to reassess — empowers individuals to approach their New Year resolutions with a greater chance of success.

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