Why New Year's Resolutions Fail (And How to Keep Them)

David Mielach

Every New Year's Eve millions of people make New Year's resolutions…then January happens. 

According to Tom Connellan, the author of "The 1 Percent Solution: How to Make Your Next 30 Days the Best Ever"Peak Performance Press, 2011), just one week into January, 25 percent of New Year's resolutions are nothing more than a memory. The prospect for keeping a resolution throughout the year are even more bleak, Connellan said. He estimates that by the time we ring in 2013, 88 percent of New Year's resolutions will have been broken. 

There are many reasons why resolutions are not kept, but according to Connellan, three major reasons stand out above the others.

  • We rely on motivation only. - People believe they will find one secret trick to motivating themselves when motivation actually comes from small successes, according to Connellan.
  • We only think big. - People only think in large terms that are often unrealistic – like losing lots of weight or making a major life change, he said.
  • We don't realize that even positive change is uncomfortable. – Change, even good change, is a break from the norm, Connellan said.

The solution to avoid becoming a part of the failed New Year's resolution club is as simple as time management, according to Doug Sundheim, co-author of "The 25 Best Time Management Tools & Techniques: How to Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy" (Peak Performance Press, 2011).  Sundheim recommends people follow these steps in order to keep New Year's resolutions and have a happy new year.

  • Prioritize what you want to accomplish. -  Pick your top three goals and focus on them, Sundheim said.
  • Reduce information overload. -Be selective in what information you pay attention to in order to maximize time management, recommends Sundheim.
  • Learn to say no. - Saying no is a way to show what is truly important in a person's life, said Sundheim.

This story was provided by BusinessNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.