Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Fail and What to Do Instead

Every year it’s the same thing for a lot of us. 
Another year comes to an end. The vacation season hits. You have more free time on your hands to eat, relax, watch movies, visit friends and relatives, and compare life stories. 
Outwardly, you act like you’re happy when someone else is doing better than you are. Besides, how would it look if you were obvious about being jealous? 
You’d look like a fool, that’s what. 
So you fake it and act like you’re happy for them. 
But what’s going on underneath the facade? Why do you measure your successes against someone else’s? Is it really fair? Are you really comparing apples to apples? Or is more like apples and tractor-trailers? 
It’s hard to be realistic and objective when you’re jealous. 
So you set those resolutions to do better. 
But what motivates them? 
If it’s jealousy, you’ll go after things you really don’t have a ton of interest in apart from the potential for them to bring you more money. 
If it’s guilt, you go after things that others tell you that you “should” be doing, whether it’s really true or appropriate for your situation. 
We all do that because we lack the one thing that will lead us in the right direction. If you want to go somewhere, this tool is indispensible. So why go into a new year without it? 
Are you ready to find out what it is? 
That one indispensible thing is a VISION. 
The Map Comes Second
I used to drive for a living. 
Each morning a got a folder with a list of destinations inside. 
On the dash of my truck was a GPS unit. 
Now suppose I had the GPS without the list. How would I get my work accomplished? 
That’s what happens when you set New Year’s Resolutions without a vision. 
Here’s how it looks. You’ve got a map. On it are lots of destinations. So you circle a few because other people have gone to these destinations, or they have tourist attractions. But before you had the map, you really didn’t have a clue where you wanted to go. 

Or maybe you got a map with destinations circled for you. 
Either way, are these really well-thought out goals? 
Here’s what a vision does. It’s the destination you choose for yourself. It’s the place you want to go because it’s best for you. It’s what you see your life becoming. It’s based on what interests you, not necessarily because it’s trendy. It’s someplace where you can put down roots, flourish, and grow. 
And it works because you’re doing what you want to do, and will continue to want for the long haul. 
It’s ideal because you designed it. 
And who knows you better than you do, really? 
The Exception Clause
There will always be something you want that isn’t healthy for you. 
If you can find out what it is, you’ve taken the first step to overall health. 
But that’s not enough. 
You’ve got to have a reason that will sustain you through a dark and difficult road that leads somewhere mysterious. 
The threat of imminent death is a pretty strong one. But if you make it past the window of uncertainty, will that sustain you? 
What if you look at it from the other end? If you were able to add ten years to your life, would that sustain you through the darkness? 
Only you can make that choice. 
Sometimes the best things in life come after you’ve been through a refiner’s fire. 
Now Do This
I’m not telling you not to make resolutions to do better for the New Year. 
What I am saying is that if you don’t have a vision that supports them, you’ll fail after the first month, if not sooner. 
So take those steps in that order, and you can have your best year ever. 
I’d love to hear how it goes!
Posted in direction, goals, New Year, Resolutions, Uncategorized, vision.

I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.