I read a statistic that only 8% of all New Year's resolutions are kept, so whether it is to lose weight, stop drinking, be more organized, be kinder to animals, or whatever it just doesn't stick. So let's go through a few reasons why they don't work, and what could be better for us to do.
The Timing: When do people creat these resolutions? I would say at the last minute, or after a massive hangover. By New Years Day it is either too late or it is based on past issues, and often out of guilt for not dealing with the problems in a significant and comphrehensive way.
It's too isolated from the flow: Having a plan is not a short term thing and change should be tethered to a bigger picture of how you see your life evolving physically, psychologically, and spirtually. Touching all components for the future is where change is made and promises kept.
Short Term versus long term: Do people every make a resolution that says, I will do this change for the next 20 years? I would say close to never. When I was 30 I knew that I had so many bad habits which I will not recount all of them here, that if I did not change I would not live to see 50, it was that bad. I resolved to be 50 and healthy, so next year for instance I will celebrate 40 years without a cigarette or a soft drink. As I turn 70 next year I have a new 30 year plan to celebrate my 100th birthday by skydiving, hiking, running a marathon, or just meditating in Bali. I have a lot to do in those 30 years to achieve my goal, and I plan on acheiving my goal.
Tony Robbins said it best: "Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach". To be committed you need to be all in. When the founding fathers resolved to create a more perfect union, it wasn't just words, it was a committment. I know that unexpected events may change how I approach the next 30 years of my plan, but I am committed to the goal, and I also resolve to adapt to changing circumstances. I don't believe in a lot but I believe in change as the one thing I can depend on. Can I fall off the wagon? Sure I can but with a resolution that would be easy, but with long term planning that started at 30 I will not be the one to stop me. FYI, I plan to send out invitations. Hope you can join me on mine, and I will join you on yours.