New Year’s resolutions that succeed

Amany Abdel-Moneim , Tuesday 3 Jan 2023

Studies show that less than 25 per cent of the people who commit to New Year’s resolutions actually follow up on them. The majority give up within one to six weeks of starting, and many resolutions are repeated year after year.

New Year
New Year


Sick of failing in your New Year’s resolutions? Cheer up — you’re not alone. Studies show that less than 25 per cent of the people who commit to New Year’s resolutions actually follow up on them. The majority give up within one to six weeks of starting, and many resolutions are repeated year after year.

The new year beautifully symbolises a new chapter in life, and as we enter it, it’s time to start thinking about resolutions. Frequent themes include health and fitness goals, improved finances, and personal and professional development. 

Many people blame their failure to fulfill their resolutions on a lack of time, resources, or motivation, or a loss of enthusiasm. Yet, part of the reason is not setting smart goals. Here are some of the reasons why many New Year’s resolutions don’t succeed.


Setting unrealistic resolutions:

A resolution is about what you would like to do rather than what you “should” do. A smart goal is something that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. So, don’t establish excessively difficult objectives that quickly become unreachable, or set relatively easy goals that you quickly become bored with. Remember, in order to keep a resolution, you must change your behaviour.


Lack of planning:

Great planning is required for great implementation. Think about planning steps around your resolutions, breaking them down into smaller pieces and scheduling them on the calendar. Planning also ensures that any necessary adjustments are sketched out ahead of time, along with an understanding of potential challenges. This boosts your chances of success, especially when it comes to long-term goals.


Lack of tracking:

A track record of accomplishments aids in the development of consistency. A weekly or periodical review allows you to keep track of your progress and turn excuses into opportunities. What gets measured gets done, and what gets done can be improved and made a habit with the help of a good tracking system. 



Don’t allow past failures to dictate your future. Being self-critical or doubtful doesn’t help since it focuses your attention and energy on “why I can’t do this.” As you improve, practice thankfulness, compassion, and love for yourself, and don’t let a minor setback or disappointment turn into a permanent failure. Every tiny victory should be celebrated because it motivates you to work harder for larger ones.

Lack of clarity:

Many people fail to achieve their objectives because their “why” is unclear, in other words what motivates them to take action and achieve goals. You may know what you want, but you won’t be able to figure out how to get it unless you know why you want it and what motivates you to achieve it. Excuses fall by the wayside when purposes are strong, and one naturally switches from a fixed attitude to a growing mindset. 


Lack of accountability:

Success is a science, so to achieve your goals you have to follow proper steps. Working with a coach, mentor, or accountability partner who has the needed energy and drive can help you to accomplish more. Try to avoid partners who suck out your energy, though. Instead, work with people who can elevate and encourage you, especially when you’re feeling down.

Finally, follow these tips to increase your chances of success in keeping to your New Year’s resolutions in 2023:


- Make a list of your goals and refer to it often, breaking your goals down into smaller, more manageable pieces, setting reminders for yourself, and celebrating your accomplishments, no matter how small.

- Be mindful, take responsibility, stay committed, and focus your mindset and actions in order to stick to your resolutions.

- Start with a picture of your future self in your mind. Make the image big and bright, feel it deeply, and hold onto it as a daily reminder of the need to stick to your resolutions.

- Don’t be too hard or too easy on yourself, and, most importantly, enjoy the process of change and transformation. Remember that winners and losers have the same goals: it is what one does to fill the gap in between that makes all the difference.

- Finally, find a support group or accountability partner. Having someone to help you stay on track can be very helpful in reaching your goals. 

* A version of this article appears in print in the 5 January, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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