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How to fail at your New Year resolutions

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

or goals, or vision. However you'd like to call it!

I LOOOOVE Vision Boards, and I also love doing Year End Reviews. When comparing the two throughout the years, I noticed that I was so good at creating magnificent plans for the New Year and so bad at staying on track. By the end of the year, I would end up in a totally different place than I had initially planned, professionally, personally, relationally, and financially.

And while I did enjoy all the other unplanned things (because I pride myself as being in the flow, less rigid, surrendering to life...) deep down I was frustrated that in most important areas off my life I was not progressing, finding myself in the same financial crisis, or overworked, or lonely.

So, I had to have a chat with myself because the older I get, the more I realize that if I reach the end of my life and still being stuck and frustrated, I will have major deadbeat regrets. So, I decided that if others can do it, so can I, and so can you!

So, I decided to use what I do best, timeline asses, and look back 5 years and see what helped me and what distracted me from achieving the goals I wanted the most. And I knew what I wanted to achieve because I added them to my vision boards over and over throughout the years.

Here are the areas I wanted to make progress:

- location freedom: be able to work from anywhere in the world

- meaningful work that excites me

- financial freedom, being able to support myself while exploring the world with the work that I was doing

- create and maintain more aligned friendships that would last the test of time and distance

Here is my progress over the years for those goals

But looking back, here is what was sabotaging my progress.

Here is what helped me, and I'm sure it will help you too:

  • Not setting aligned goals

Misaligned goals are the number one reasons we fail at our New Year Resolutions. Misaligned goals are those goals chosen based on what we think will make up happy, trying to please others or our families, to show off, or to fit in, while disregarding the unconscious and subconscious desires. Those are the things that motivate us to choose. I love this quote from Carl Jung "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will rule your life, and you will call it Fate."

  • Not having clear goals

Setting high and specific goals is one of the best-established management tools to increase performance and motivation. Over 1,000 studies have consistently shown that setting high and specific goals is linked to increased task performance, persistence, and motivation, compared to vague or easy goals. (September 2021)

  • Not sticking with a plan or a roadmap

We want the results immediately, and our lack of patience doesn't give any plan a fair chance. Midway through using a method or a plan, the voice of doubt creeps in" What if this doesn't work?"; "What if I made the wrong choice?"; "Look at all those people who are having faster results using other plans; I should switch." Does this ring true? The truth is, you have to stick with one and commit to the work. There is no shortcut. If the only thing you gain from a plan that didn't suit you is a confirmation that this plan was not for you, it wasn't a waste of time.

  • Lack of accountability

Have you ever done a challenging task in a pair or a group, sharing your journey, keeping each other accountable, motivating each other through the hard times, and quantifying progress to stay motivated? That's the power of accountability. Get yourself an accountability buddy if you want to reach your goals.

  • No peer support

The most alienating experience is wanting to do something and not having people to share the journey with. I've tried doing that with friends and family that were not interested in the same things as I was, and their level of involvement and interest in what I was going through was very low. This left me feeling unacknowledged, dismissed, lonely, and demotivated. Being part of a group that goes through the same journey is the most life-affirming thing. Don't discount it.

So, what are you envisioning for 2023? And how are you planning on getting there?

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