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15 Common Reasons New Year's Resolutions Fail

Expectations Are Too High

If you can’t even remember the last time you went for a run, it’s probably a tad unrealistic to say that you’re going to run a marathon by the end of 2017. If you set your goals too high, you may become discouraged—so remember that slow and steady wins the race. If it's fitness you're looking for, start with a walk around the block. It's not much, but the point is to create small habits that are easy to maintain and go from there. You're not going to be a Usain Bolt-level runner by the time Februrary rolls around, but hopefully you've established a solid, habitual foundation that you can build on for the rest of the year. 

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Lack of Planning

You’re setting yourself up for failure if you choose New Year’s resolutions and have no plan of action to achieve them. Set your overall goals, then come up with monthly, weekly, and daily actions you can take to achieve those goals. 

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Vague Resolutions

Saying that you want to “travel more” is too vague to actually achieve, which may leave you feeling confused about where you actually want to travel. Instead, set specific goals, such as, “ski in the Swiss Alps” or “raft the Colorado River,” so you can actually make plans. 

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The Wrong Mindset

If you aren’t mentally prepared to work hard, have setbacks, and even cope with changes, you may not stick with your resolution in the long term. To succeed, you need to visualize the positive and negative aspects of your goals and prepare for them.

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Poor Time Management

It’s going to be difficult to meet your goal of spending more time with family if you have trouble even finding time to cook dinner for yourself. Set your priorities, and if you have to, make an hourly schedule each day that you can realistically stick to. 

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Too Many Distractions

You’re trying to eat better, but your co-workers constantly ask you to grab Mexican food after work—sound familiar? It’s hard to resist that tempation, but you need to find ways to make it easier, such as inviting them over to eat a healthy, delicious, home-cooked meal instead. 

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No Accountability or Support

Studies have shown that people who have an accountability partner are usually more successful in achieving their goals. If you’re having a hard time waking up to go to the gym at 6 am, find a buddy who can give you the support and occasional tough love that you need. 

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Giving Up Too Easily

If you’re trying to spend less time on your phone and you find yourself mindlessly staring at your screen because you had to sit in your doctor’s office for hours on end, don’t give up. Everyone goes through setbacks, but you can always start again tomorrow. 

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Financial Burdens

Some people who want to eat better turn to juice cleanses or other pricey diet plans, but if those expensive plans put too much stress on your wallet, they’re not going to end up doing you any good. Look on forums or Pinterest for more budget-friendly recipes that still comply with your clean eating principles.

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A Lack of Self-Honesty

You say that you want to work towards becoming a member of the community board, but if you’re only doing it for status and connections and not because you really want to get involved, you probably aren’t going to stick with it. Be honest about what you actually want and work towards those goals instead of the ones that will make you “look good” to other people. 

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No Believing in Yourself

If you’re trying to get a new job and you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re not good enough for any of the available positions, you won’t get them. In order for potential employers to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. Remind yourself of how great you are!

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Wanting Instant Gratification

After eating a salad for lunch and doing some crunches, you may look at your stomach in hopes of seeing a six-pack, but you need to realize the path to fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient, and you will start seeing results sooner than you think. 

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Being Too Results-Focused

Instead of stepping on the scale every morning and being disappointed when you haven’t lost any weight, take actions that will actually help you lose weight. Go for a quick jog before work every morning, do some yoga on your lunch break, and you won’t even think about the scale. 

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Overthinking Things

It’s good to think about your resolutions, but it is possible to spend too much time thinking about them. Overthinking can lead to more anxiety and can hinder your actual progress, so at some point you need to take the leap and act! 

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Not Enjoying Yourself

Last but not least, the most important part of making New Year’s resolutions is enjoying yourself. After all, you made these goals to better yourself and your life, so if something isn’t making you happy, you may want to re-evaluate your goals and desires. 

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