Blog | Intentional and Mindful Living

Why Your Resolutions Are Failing

Did you start the year with big plans and exciting resolutions for 2020, only to find that by February you are struggling to keep them going?

Resolutions can be great when they seem to really click – but are absolutely awful when we lose our grip on them and revert back to ‘same old, same old’.

If you were really hoping that your resolutions would have worked for you this year (and that’s why you’re here now) then I hope you’ll find these pointers helpful in getting your resolutions working for you again.



Your resolutions weren’t internally motivated


Motivation is important – but where it comes from is even more important.

External motivation is about other people, outer expectations and goals that you feel you should be setting.

Internal motivation is about doing things in line with your values, what you care about and impact how you feel.

Here’s an example.

Wanting to lose weight to look good in jeans is an external motivation. You are caring about how you look to others.

Wanting to lose weight to feel good when you walk up the stairs is internal motivation. Only you know how it feels to walk up stairs.

External goals are:

  • Doing 100 day challenges
  • Joining a group because your friend is doing it
  • Finishing a task set by someone else

Internal goals are:

  • Finding things that excite you
  • Doing things that make you feel good about yourself
  • Finding a tribe that aligns with what’s important to you

Take a look at your resolutions, plans or goals. Are they more to do with what others expect? And can you change them or alter them to make them in line with what’s important to you?

If you want to know what is important to you, read more about values here.



Your resolutions are based in shame


If you feel bad about yourself, you might think this is enough to motivate you to change. You might have set goals such as;

  • Lose weight
  • Eat healthier
  • Look better
  • Be fitter

But you just can’t make progress in these areas. In fact, you self-sabotage yourself all the time.

Why is this?

It’s likely you set your resolutions because you really don’t like who you are.

  1. You might often feel disgust at yourself when you look in the mirror
  2. You might be ashamed of your weight when you’re with your friends
  3. You speak negatively to yourself and call yourself names to change your behaviour

All of these actions and feelings are based in deep shame about who you are. It might have been you were told you weren’t good enough as a child, or you picked up that message from a culture or society that makes it difficult for women to be who they are.

Either way, you are using the stick to push your forwards, but by doing this, each step towards your goal only serves to remind you of how bad you are already.

This isn’t a nice feeling at all.


Why your resolutions aren't working. Sticking to resolutions
You didn’t set a vision or any intentions

Your resolutions are failing because you didn’t imagine they could actually happen to you. You didn’t feel connected to them, or excited by them.

Intentions and visions create a good feeling about where you’re going, and it’s easier to behave in ways that support that vision when it feels good to you.

Therefor you don’t need to keep punishing yourself, because each day you are moving towards a vision you feel good about for you.

Which intentions can help to serve you better, AND make you feel better at the same time?

I hope you liked these quick pointers in looking at your resolutions with fresh eyes.

If you want to know more about creating long term, effective and sustainable change in your life, I’m hosting an online webinar called Intention Setting: Create a Life you Love on March 26th. Booking is now open, and I hope to see you there for an exciting 2 hour workshop on making your life a good one!

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