Why we Fail at New Year’s Resolutions

Would you pour water into a leaking bucket? Yes, off course not. However, replace the bucket with your brain and water with your New Year goals. The same analogy applies, our goals leak out of our brain. Some of mine did too and that is why we fail at new year’s resolutions.

It is the reason why every year I see my gym packed for first two weeks of January and quiet for rest of the year. I was one of them in 2013. Or people buying books just to catch dust on the shelf.

Before I proceed, are you wondering what cases these “brain leakages”? From my own brain’s leakage learnings, I conclude that it is caused by social norms, resistance brain, and poor self-awareness chronologically.

Social Norms

Social Norms are the things we begin to hear from our friends in the New Year. “Hey! Any new year resolutions?” “Yes! I am going to go to the gym too!” Thus, many times we set up goals just to fit in the conversations. Shortly afterwards, social conversations switch to “Man! It’s so hard keeping up with the gym!” “Me too!” Before we know it we fit it by saying yes we failed too!

Social Norms result us in taking up goals that we may not have. For example, hitting the gym that all of our friends seem to be doing. And feeling good about failing at them because my friends failed too!

Resistance Brain

Have you ever felt uncomfortable after taking on a big challenge? Yes, that is the resistance brain. For every goal you take up your brain (“Lizard Brain”) sends signals of resistance. You will fail, you are not good enough, forget about it! In matter of few weeks the resistance takes over your goals and you forget about them.

Remember, as newton said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you put up a fight with your resistance brain it will eventual give up.


Lack of self-awareness is the holy grail of poor goals. Our brains favor immediate gratification over long term gain. Thus, when hitting the gym. We forget that it might be an exhausting experience but forget about its influence on our health, stress, productivity and body. Lack of self-awareness is what results in falling victim to the resistance brain and the social norms.

Next Steps for 2015

As we proceed into the New Year it is work self-reflecting on these leakages. With this blog, I was and am working on improving my stage 3 – self-awareness. Which stage are you on? Which leakage must you stop?

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