Top Nav

Why New Year’s Resolutions Do Not Work

Year after year, people make New Year’s resolutions only to see them fail, making them feel like failures. Having owned Physical Therapy at the Flagstaff Athletic Club for more than 20 years, every January, I see the club packed with people only to see most of the new members gone by Valentine’s Day.

The most common resolutions have to do with some combination of getting in shape, exercising and losing weight. Quitting smoking ranks pretty high. Resolutions about saving money or spending less, getting organized, learning something new, reading more, traveling, spending more time with family and friends and even “living life to the fullest” are all common.

Yet, according to a frequently cited statistic, only 8 percent of these resolutions last and 80 percent are over by February.

So, what is going on?

The people making these resolutions have the best intentions and want these things for their lives. Yet, time and again, year after year, they fail to achieve their resolutions. Often, people who resolve to lose weight, go on a diet, vow not to eat certain things – they almost invariably give in to temptation, decide that the diet failed, they are a failure and may eat the very things they weren’t going to eat to feel better. People who go on diets end up gaining weight when the diet fails, yo-yoing back and forth between dieting, failing, gaining weight and repeating the process over and over.

The reason resolutions and intentions fail is because they are actually wishes. They have no more power than saying, I hope it snows in Flagstaff this winter. It would be nice but saying it doesn’t make it happen.

So, how can you achieve your goals?

The answer is to actually have a goal.

A goal must actually be your goal, not someone else’s, not what the media or your family says you should do.

A goal must be important and is best if it is challenging and makes a real difference in your life.

A sense of longing for something different or that something is missing in your life, combined with a sense of discontent with what is going on in your life now leads to the best goals.

Our tendency is to keep doing what we’ve been doing until the discomfort gets to the point that we feel motivated to change.

Take a moment and without distractions, review where you are now in your life. Make sure that you examine all of the areas in your life. Are you happy with the way things are? If you let your imagination expand without limitations, what shows up that you really want in your life? You might want to write down what you get. That is your ultimate goal.

The next step is developing a plan to put that goal into action. A goal must be specific, achievable, realistic, measurable and have a target date to be accomplished. For a big goal, breaking it into 90-day segments has been shown to work well. If the goal for the end of the year is to run a marathon, the first 90-day goal might be to run a 5K.

Make 2018 the year you use the power of your mind to achieve your goals. FBN

By Don Berlyn, PT

Don Berlyn is a Physical Therapist since 1986 and a Hypnotherapist since 2007. He owned Physical Therapy at FAC from 1992 to 2015 and Flagstaff Hypnotherapy since 2007. Don serves both individuals in private sessions and groups in classes. For more information on hypnotherapy and goal-oriented classes, to schedule an appointment or register for a class, visit or call 928-699-8263



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Website Design by DRCMedia LLC