4 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Every time a new year comes along, millions of people take vows to better themselves. Thus, the first few months of the year, I can never get on a treadmill at the gym—mostly because I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but also because the gyms are always packed with people who have resolved to get fit. For ministry leaders (specifically worship leaders trying to stay on the pulse of the every-changing music industry), it’s important to make goals and move forward.

Chances are good that you’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past, too. The sad truth is the majority (around 90 percent) of our goals will end in failure. I remember asking my dad about resolutions; he would always reply, “My resolution is to not make any resolutions.” As cheeky as this may seem, we would be better off not making resolutions. The only way you are certain to attain your goal is to resolve to break any resolution you make.

Why is it that we can’t keep a simple resolution?

  1. We think our resolutions are more important and urgent than they are. Quitting bad habits and replacing them with good ones are great aspirations. The problem is that if these things were really important to us, a sense of urgency would propel us to make a change immediately. Waiting for the new year is procrastination in disguise—it’s an excuse to push issues aside. If you want to make a change, start immediately, never put it off!
  2. We make broad resolutions with vague guidelines. Resolutions often fail because of broadly defined goals. They leave us unequipped to battle temptation. If our goals are vague, we don’t know where the line is. Without clear definition, our natural tendency is to push the line and justify ourselves into the failure of our aspirations. Create change with clear, simple, and small goals that focus on creating a habit and changing your lifestyle.
  3. We use negative aspects for motivation. Recent psychological studies have shown that using fear and negative aspects of our current condition to motivate our attempts to alter our behavior actually hinders our ability to move forward. We get stuck in a rut because we continue to look back. Studies show that we need to focus on the rewards and benefits of sticking with the lifestyle change. Recognize what’s in the future in order to keep moving forward.
  4. We have no source of accountability or encouragement. Tackling big life issues takes more than just the effort we put in. It also requires the input from those around us encouraging us and keeping us accountable. However, this input can also be detrimental to our ambitions if there are people inputting negatively into your life. Surround yourself with people that exemplify what you hope to attain. Otherwise, it’s ultimately a case of bad company corrupting good character.

Why you shouldn’t participate in New Year’s resolutions

The truth is, only 10 percent of goals are achieved, and the failure of a New Year’s resolution can harm your team’s synergy. Continued failures can lead to a team’s lack of belief in leadership, as well as its capabilities to continue improving. However, I would encourage you to always challenge the status quo and make changes—don’t wait for a new year to begin working on them diligently. When you sense the need for change, begin the work immediately, and set definitive and simple goals. Look forward to what you would like to see, and pull people alongside you who will push you in the direction you want to go.

How do you plan to complete your goals this year?

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Get organized—Proclaim Church Presentation Software lives in the cloud, so you can collaborate with your team from wherever they work best. No more emailing large files or fumbling with flash drives. Best of all, it connects with many of the tools you already use, like Planning Center Online, CCLI SongSelect, and Graceway Media. Try it for free at ProclaimOnline.com/Download.

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Written by
Taylor Blomquist

Taylor is the Marketing Manager for Logos Bible Software. He loves spending time with his family, discussing theology, and playing golf.

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Written by Taylor Blomquist
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