Every year, it's the same: People make new year's resolutions they give up on, just after a few weeks. Then the next year come, and they do the same, over and over again.

People promise themselves they're going to go to the gym 3 times a week, or make more money, call more clients, take more time to play with their children, you name it. 

I don't know about you, but I don't know a lot of people who actually follow through. And I include myself in that. 

So, why do you think most people give up their new year's resolutions?

If you are not only interested in knowing why most people give up, but also how you could avoid giving up yourself, here my take on this:

The problem with new year’s resolutions is that most people rely on their sheer willpower.

They fight against themselves to change old habits and it doesn’t last.

Don't get me wrong, you need a certain amount of willpower to accomplish anything, but if you haven't worked through the "why" deeply enough before, it's not going to last. Your motivation and desire have to be vivid enough - no matter where they come from.

In my opinion, there are two main ways to make it happen (there are others of course):

Whether you find a way to make it happen because something big is at stake - like going on a diet because your health is seriously threatened -, or you make it happen gradually, on an easy-going - and therefore LASTING - way.

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For example:

If you know you should eat healthier, instead of telling yourself, "From now on, I'll never eat sugar again!" - What most people do when they make new year's resolutions - try this: "I won't quit sugar but try to integrate more healthy food in my diet instead."

So instead of forbidding yourself from doing something, which is the fastest way to fail, prefer implementing a little more of the good stuff in your life – whatever that might be.

The interesting thing that will happen if you are a little gentler to yourself, and aim for small changes, rather than radical ones, is that it has a compounding effect.

Small changes are what will make your ship sail in the right direction.

You eat 20% more veggies and all of a sudden, you want to exercise. Then you start to like it and crave for more. One day, you wake up and tell yourself "I'm going to run a marathon".

It's a little cliché, but it works better than forcing yourself into radical changes and giving it up after a few weeks because you rely on your sheer willpower.

A third alternative is to surround yourself with people for whom the kind of lifestyle you want, is normal or hiring a coach, who make you accountable. That's actually the quickest way in my opinion, but it might take some time – and maybe money - to find your tribe.

About the Author Martha Sigargök-Martin

Hi, I'm Martha, Mindset Coach and French Expat living in Germany, dedicated to help you squeeze the best out of you so that you can go for what you want.

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Want to become more confident as a business owner? 

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It takes 5 min to fill in and then you'll be able to book your call with me.