Frequent mistakes that make your new habits fail to succeed

If you have monitored or casually observed your friends and family’s lifestyles, you have likely come across the ‘New Year’s resolutions. Whether you believe in them or not, you cannot deny it is a major part of transitioning into the new year, with all its promises and advantages. However, the promises and resolutions soon failed – about 81 to 92 percent did not make it past three months.

What this means is simple – eight times out of ten, chances are highly likely you will fall back into your previous patterns rather than sticking to new behavior. We understand it perfectly, though; changing and adjusting your behavior is a difficult task you cannot simply do in a day or a week.

What are some of the reasons that make people fail in their resolve? To overcome these challenges, you need to know the pitfalls to avoid and the science behind behavior changes. Here are some of them, along with possible solutions.


Attempting to change every aspect at once

The solution here lies in recognizing that you cannot change multiple things simultaneously, so you learn to select one thing and perfect it as much as possible. Instead of wasting your energy on various things and finding out you did not progress, behavior change researchers all agree that taking one step at a time or a few things helps you achieve much more. The most you can change at once is three habits, not more. Besides, all these habits must be minor for you to make significant progress. For instance, doing one pushup daily, flossing one tooth, or looking in the mirror when getting dressed and affirming yourself. Once the habit becomes routine, you can move on to other habits you would like to change.

If you are still struggling, you can pick a keystone habit and work on it until it puts the rest of your habits in line with what you want. For instance, set a monthly budget for all your expenses if you have a problem saving or gambling money away. You then decide to stop frequent visits to the best New Zealand casinos, which helps you save funds in the long term and helps you purchase other important items or save money for a rainy day. You receive immediate benefits, but the same decision positively affects different aspects of your life.

You start with a habit that is too big.

When you try to improve your habits, starting with small steps and goals that lead to a bigger habit is wiser. This is because starting a behavior is the hardest part of changing your lifestyle. For instance, your New Year’s resolution might look like, ‘Going to the gym three times a week and losing 50 pounds by mid-year.’ However, you soon realize that even going to the gym requires so much mental work, especially when you have had a long day and have little or no willpower to finish your workout routine. When you find yourself in such a situation, the best solution is to start with smaller habits that lead to the bigger goal of losing weight and going to the gym frequently.

Any new habits you select need to be non-threatening and make them easy to accomplish every day. That way, you keep your motivation levels high, even when you do not feel like doing it – and you also do not feel like giving up because you slackened off. Examples are many – if you want to read a book every day, start by reading two pages before you sleep. If you’re going to buy an item, start by saving your money in a savings account every day to build up your funds. If you’re going to run a marathon, start by running 100 meters daily.

You are looking for the result instead of the process itself.

When setting goals for yourself that you want to achieve, chances are high you are looking at the result instead of the process. For example – how many pounds do you want to shed? How much money do you want to save? How much less do you want to drink? How many books do you want to read? And so on. You tend to focus on outcomes because you naturally want your behavior to change to get the results you want. However, the truth is this – new goals will not give you results. It is the lifestyle that changes. The lifestyle is not something you build in a day; it is a lifelong process you must go through. Therefore, you must direct your energy into changing your lifestyle, not getting more favorable results.

Failing to modify your environment

You cannot be in a negative environment and expect to operate there and get good results – it is like being exposed to allergens and becoming surprised that you fell sick a day later. In the same way, achieving your goals involves changing your environment. For example – you cannot expect to build your health if you are constantly consuming unhealthy food, it is impossible not to drink when alcohol is continually surrounding you, it is impossible to accomplish your tasks when you are distracted by social media and text messages – the list goes on and on. It is difficult to admit it openly, but your habits simply respond to the environment you find yourself in. The more you perform a task in a favorable climate, the greater your chances of succeeding.

Final thoughts

Achieving goals and resolutions is a process, though many fail and do not understand why. However, when you think about it, it all lies in the process and your willingness to change small habits daily–that determines if you will succeed.