What Derails Goals and Resolutions?

What Derails Goals and Resolutions?


Aya Fubara Eneli, M.A., JD

How are you doing with your New Year resolutions and goals for 2014? Are you going strong or have you already modified them, or quit? Let this be the year you break out of old defeating patterns and embrace a new normal. What is derailing your goals and how do you overcome it?

I believe that our focus should not so much be on just short term goals to the exclusion of the larger picture. Statistics show that over 57% of people quit on their resolutions or goals within the first 30 days and I believe there are a number of contributing factors to our lack of success.

Emergency workers examine the site of a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York

Many people set goals and make resolutions based on emotion more so than a deep-seated commitment to transforming their lives for the long term. For instance, a person may set a weight loss of goal because they have a reunion coming up or may be because they want to fit into a certain size by a certain date. They excitedly begin to look for all the shortcuts to achieving massive weight loss in a short period of time, but because there is no long term reason or commitment or plan to maintain the weight loss, even if they meet their goal, they soon begin to pack on the pounds again. If a goal is just a passing fancy, when the going gets tough you will either lower the goal or quit on it. In other words, if a person does not have a compelling enough reason to achieve and maintain a goal, they won’t.

Another factor that hinders success in attaining resolutions or goals is that people do not commit to the internal (mind) work that must occur for lasting change to occur. One of the reasons sports psychologists thrive is because more and more athletes are realizing that success depends even more on how a person thinks and sees themselves than their physical prowess. When people set goals or resolutions without first changing how and what they think about who they are and their prospects for success, then their negative thoughts will consistently sabotage their success. To achieve what you never have before requires a transformation of the mind. Make sure that any plan to accomplish a goal includes the necessary work to shift how you think and what you believe is possible for you.

Lack of adequate planning is another reason people do not follow through on their resolutions and goals. Imagine a person who decides that this is the year they will get out of debt and save money. But, they take no time to figure out just how much debt they are in, they don’t create a budget and they don’t figure out if they need an additional income or to make some cuts in order to reach their goal. How exactly is the goal to ever be achieved under those circumstances? A goals or a resolution is bound to fail without a well-thought out and executed plan.

To increase the probability of achieving a goal or resolution, be sure to have carefully considered and put in place accountability measures. What gets measured, gets done. Review your goals daily. Track your progress or lack thereof and make the necessary adjustments, identify a person who you will regularly update on your progress and give them permission to hold you accountable. Celebrate the progress you make, this will keep you energized and the momentum going.

The indisputable fact is that all great men and women attain those heights because they set goals and are disciplined enough to follow through. Your dreams can be your reality too if you are willing to work smart and be consistent. Happy New Year. I wish you an abundant life.

Aya Fubara Eneli is the CEO of Aya Eneli International, a best-selling author and a sought after speaker. She, her husband and their five children reside in Central Texas. Follow her on Twitter @ayaeneli, like her at facebook.com/ayaeneli or email her at info@ayaeneli.com