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Why New Year's Resolutions Often Fail: A Fresh Perspective

As we step into another year, the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions comes to the forefront of my mind. Back in 2015 I wrote an article Forget Your Doomed New Year Resolution , yet mere single digit percentages actually succeed in achieving them. So why do we wait until a new year to commit to such changes?

The Inherent Flaws of New Year's Resolutions

New Year's resolutions often fail because they are typically made impulsively, reflecting our desires rather than our determination. Our actions should always move us towards success. Resolutions lack genuine motivation, commitment, and accountability, key factors in achieving any goal..

Crafting Goals That Stick

Instead of broad or vague resolutions like “getting fitter” or setting up for a specific event, it’s crucial to pinpoint exactly what you wish to achieve. Want to keep up with friends on a bike ride or complete a challenging trail? Identify these specific goals, write them down, and set a timeline.

For those targeting races or physical events, refining your goals is vital. Rather than aiming just to participate or not finish last, set ambitious targets like completing within a certain time or ranking in the top tier of your category. High aspirations lead to greater satisfaction upon achievement. The key to success lies in setting specific, realistic goals.

Adapting Goals to Mountain Biking

In mountain biking, goal setting takes on a unique form. It’s not just about finishing a race; it’s about improving your time, mastering a difficult trail, or even placing in your preferred category. These specific targets provide a clear direction for your training and riding.

Embracing Incremental Change

Overhauling your lifestyle overnight is unlikely to be sustainable. Start with one change at a time. For instance, commit to a regular training schedule or join a weekly group ride.

Transforming your life overnight is unrealistic for most. Instead, focus on one change at a time and make it a routine. If your schedule is sporadic, start by committing to a consistent weekly activity, like a weekly group ride. As these become routine, gradually introduce other changes. This methodical approach helps build lasting habits and these habits are more likely to stick.

The Role of Accountability

While self-motivation is crucial, having an accountability partner can enhance your commitment. This could be a partner, friend, or trainer. The accountability should be personal and meaningful, rather than a public display on social media, which can sometimes be more detrimental than helpful.

Moving Towards a 'New You'

If your New Year's resolution has already faltered, consider it an opportunity to make a 'New You Personal Resolution.' With clear motivation, solid commitment, and personal accountability, your goals are not just possible – they're within reach. Remember, success is measured not just by the destination but by the journey itself to achieving your aspirations you need to set realistic goals, make incremental changes, and find joy in the process.


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