December 30, 2022

New Year. New You. Yeah, Right.

It's that time of year again. The holidays are over, and if you're like a third of the United States, your sights are set on New Year's resolutions. You know, the ones you swear you'll stick to this year. But how often do we actually follow through on them?

According to a survey conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their New Year's resolutions.

Yikes. So what's the deal? Why do so many of us struggle to follow through on our goals?


There could be several reasons. Maybe we set unrealistic or overly ambitious expectations. Perhaps we don't have a clear plan or strategy. Could it be that we need to track our progress or seek out support or accountability?

Whatever reasoning or excuse we can muster for not hitting the mark, it typically comes down to the following: 

  • Failing to consider their values or priorities.

    It's important to choose goals that align with your values and priorities. If your plans don't reflect what's most important to you, staying motivated and making progress may not be easy.

  • Not setting goals that are aligned with their long-term vision or purpose.

    It's important to consider how your goals fit into your long-term vision and purpose. If your plans don't align with your long-term vision, staying motivated and making progress may be challenging.

  • Not setting a deadline for their goals.

    Setting a deadline can help you stay focused and motivated and can also help you measure your progress. Without a deadline, it may be challenging to stay on track.

  • Not setting a plan for how to overcome setbacks or obstacles.

    It's common to encounter setbacks or obstacles along the way. Having a plan to overcome these can help you stay focused and motivated.

The following advice was provided through our research on alternative techniques to produce accountability and follow-through.
Set up a rewards system for yourself to help you stay on track. This can be as simple as treating yourself to something you enjoy when you complete a task or reach a milestone.

End goals are terrific, and rewards are great whether or not they are monetary, social, etc. However, because of the way dopamine relates to our perception of time, working hard at something for the sake of a reward that comes afterward can make the hard work much more challenging — making us much less likely to lean into discomfort in the future.

In the following video, Andrew Humberman explains this concept.


It's important to note that motivation is not the same thing as ability or talent. While these factors may play a role in our ability to pursue and achieve our goals, motivation drives us to take action and progress.

But it's not all doom and gloom. We can do plenty of things to increase our chances of success, and each day brings another opportunity. After all, it's not about achieving perfection; it's about making progress!

Practice "productive procrastination."

This involves setting aside specific times to engage in activities that may not seem directly related to your goals but that can actually help you make progress in the long run. For example, you might set aside time to relax and recharge or to engage in a hobby that enables you to destress and refocus.

Experiment with different productivity techniques.

There are many approaches to getting things done, and what works for one person may differ for another individual. Consider trying different techniques, such as the Pomodoro technique, the Eisenhower matrix, or the "eat that frog" method, to see what works best for you.

Foster a growth mindset.

This means adopting a belief that your abilities and intelligence are not fixed, but can be developed and improved through effort and learning. This can help you stay motivated and resilient in facing challenges and setbacks.

Seek out new experiences and challenges.

Taking on new tasks and stepping outside your comfort zone can help you build your skills and confidence. These tasks can also become a great source of personal fulfillment.

Practice gratitude.

Focusing on what you are thankful for can help you stay positive and motivated, even when things get tough.

Take breaks and make time for self-care.

It's important to give yourself time to rest and recharge to stay focused and productive.

Break up your work into smaller chunks and tackle one thing at a time.

This can help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Seek out social support.

Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people can provide motivation, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.

The Takeaway

Remember, it's essential to find strategies that work for you and that you enjoy. You can continue progressing toward your goals by trying out different approaches and being open to new ideas. Keep in mind that motivation is not inherent and has to be generated. Strive for the 1% better each day, and don't allow disruptions to sway you off course.

Tomorrow is a new day. Happy New Year!