Why New Year’s Resolutions
Fail – and How To Succeed

So here we are, a few weeks into the New Year. How many of us have kept our resolutions? I bet a few (or more) of us are slouching down in our seats as we read this.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail


 

By the end of January, 50% of people will have faltered on their New Year’s resolutions—and it goes straight downhill from there. So, if you’ve fallen off your resolution wagon, know that you’re in very good company.

When we look at why New Year’s resolutions fail, it’s not because we don’t have enough willpower or because we’re weak. Our resolutions don’t fail because we’re just “lazy” or because we “can’t change.”

Why New Year’s resolutions fail? Because we don’t make the RIGHT resolutions.

Think of all the common resolutions you hear:

  • I want to lose 50 pounds!
  • I’m going to give up sugar!
  • I want to stop shopping online!
  • I want to get a big promotion!
  • No more bad dates!
  • I’m never yelling at my kids again!
  • I resolve to run a marathon this year!

Often, our resolutions are so lofty, they’re easily broken once…and then that’s it. We’ve failed. We throw in the towel.

Either that or our resolutions are intertwined with our soft addictions—those timewasters and other things we do that aren’t so healthy, like wasting time on the internet, skipping the gym to stay in bed, feeling guilty over too many Netflix binge-sessions, eating the extra dessert, or buying those shoes we can’t afford so we put them on a credit card (we also can’t afford to pay off).

These aren’t signs that we’re hopeless, bad or lazy, or that we can’t achieve our goals. These are all signs of “mis-wanting.” We can’t unlock our goals because we don’t actually want the things that would bring us happiness.


Watch me discuss Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail on Fox 12 Chicago.


What is Happiness?

Underneath many of our goals and resolutions is the desire to “be happy.” We all want happiness, but many of us aren’t even sure what happiness means for us, or what it would truly look like.

In a classic study of lottery winners and accident victims, it was determined that happiness isn’t as relative as one might think. The lottery winners reported immediate gratification, of course, but after a year, their happiness levels returned to their pre-win state. For the accident victims, despite suffering horrible tragedy, their happiness also returned back to baseline after a year.

The lesson here? Whether lottery winner or accident victim, the happy people stayed happy and the miserable people…well, they stayed miserable. This is referred to as the hedonic treadmill. Despite the positive or negative happenings in our lives, we often return to the same levels of happiness.

It’s not to say that we shouldn’t try to aim for happiness or determine what “makes us happy,” of course, but we should be aware that happiness isn’t our singular objective, nor does money or being thin usually result in happiness. (Although we often think that money or weight loss are the two things holding us back.)

The reality is, we think something is going to “make” us happy. We mis-want things and until we unlock the deeper desires (the “why”), we’re going to keep spinning our wheels and walking along on a treadmill…moving toward a carrot we can never catch.

Figuring Out Our WHY = Getting to the Root of True Joy

The things that really bring us true happiness are what we can offer to the world.  These are our “gifts” and they directly correlate to our deepest desires, also known as our “yearnings.”

When we work to unlock our yearnings, we can see the bigger wants—the things that will TRULY bring us the happiness, satisfaction and joy we desire. It’s not finishing a marathon, fitting into our skinny jeans, organizing our office, or even getting the promotion.

Underneath these small goals or resolutions, there are bigger, deeper yearnings:

  • I yearn to be loved.
  • I yearn to be seen.
  • I yearn to be acknowledged.
  • I yearn to be accepted.

We can unlock our yearnings by running our goals through the “so that” test, like so:

I want to lose 20 pounds, SO THAT I can have more energy. I want to have more energy, SO THAT I can keep up with my kids. I want to keep up with my kids, SO THAT I can have a strong connection with them. I YEARN to connect with my kids.

Suddenly, when we unlock the deeper meaning, the “why” of our goals and resolutions, we become laser-focused on achieving them. The steps to attaining the larger goal become clear.

Not only does our path become obvious, but also, it opens us up to the truth that, well, we don’t need to lose 20 pounds to connect with our kids. We can start getting that bliss right NOW! We already have the winning lottery ticket right in our hands!

The amazing thing is, once we identify our yearnings and seek ways to directly fulfill them, we might find the pounds melt away. We’re connected with our kids, playing with them more, engaging in life, and not numbing ourselves behind ice cream and the internet. Suddenly, we’re more active and more energized, our clothes fit and we’re loving life!

Realizing Our Gifts & Living Our Best Lives

Within each and every person are gifts that they bring to the world around them. When we’re doing things for others, thinking of ways to engage and cultivate relationships with those around us, and building our best selves, these gifts become more evident and clear.


“Accepting that we all have gifts, we can join the quest to discover them. We needn’t be limited by mistaken beliefs that we’re not talented or that others are special but not us, or that it is showing off to share our gifts. Convincing ourselves that we lack any real gifts or have nothing to contribute leaves us with an aching void that we often fill with soft addictions. Our fear of failure and our perfectionist approaches bar us from fully engaging in life. We are willing to just get by in order to distract ourselves from our fear. If we believe we have nothing to contribute we don’t fully engage in life and we seek solace in soft addictions. Since we only discover our gifts by engaging in life, we may miss finding the gifts we surly posses…
…By developing and offering your gifts, you grow. You become more skilled and more fulfilled. Something new is created and brought into the world. The creativity you express through your gifts empowers you to add meaning to your life and the lives you touch.”
– The Soft Addiction Solution


You are a gift. You deserve to be happy and have your yearnings met. Make it your resolution to STOP going nowhere on the goal treadmill. Unlock your desires and bring your gifts to the world!

Once you’re making the right resolutions, you’ll find keeping them is a pleasure! You’ll be more engaged, you’ll have more energy, and ultimately, you’ll find the secret to bringing more love, light and happiness into your life!

So stop beating yourself up about missed resolutions and failed goals. Reframe your path and aim for the things you really want! If you need some ideas on how to determine your path or if you need coaching on your life journey, please visit www.wrightliving.com.


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Zoned Out on Timewasters?
Get MORE Out of Life!

How many of us sometimes feel like we’re sleepwalking through life? You might be thinking, “Me? No way! I’m usually busy. I work hard and I’m exhausted from all I do. I’m definitely not sleepwalking. In fact, I wish I could have MORE sleep.”

get more out of life


 

Yet, how many of us have lost hours surfing online or aimlessly scrolling through social media?

How many of us feel like our homes are buried in clutter and we aren’t sure how to organize or dig our way out (but we still find more stuff to buy)?

How many of us come home after a long day and zone out in front of the TV, then feel guilty because we just wasted our evening?

How many of us spend more time at the office because we feel in control at our jobs, and when we come home, we feel inadequate or unfulfilled in our personal lives?

These “soft addictions” are causing us to miss out on the things we really want. Instead of blissing out, we’re missing out. We’re zoning out and losing the thrill of connecting and engaging with those around us.

“…But I Need to Relax!”

We often use soft addictions as pseudo-comfort sources. We think we’re relaxing and rejuvenating ourselves, when really we’re simply prolonging the pattern. There’s no reward to these soft addictions, and in fact, they make us feel guilty, non-productive and unfulfilled.

Soft addictions are habits that can seem harmless. These aren’t hard addictions like drugs, gambling or alcohol. These soft addictions are deceptively comforting on the surface. They seem simple and like they’re no big deal: over-shopping, too much snacking, binging on Netflix, scrolling through social media, and falling down the rabbit hole of the Internet.


These little soft addictions end up costing us money, time, feelings, and energy. As we engage in these habits, they’re ultimately robbing us of more fulfillment.


Soft addictions are not a sin. They are simply a misguided attempt to take care of ourselves—a way to try to relax after a draining day, to distract or amuse ourselves, or to cope with strong feelings. The problem is that soft addictions don’t add to our life; they actually drain us of the precious resources that could be used toward fueling our dreams. They don’t take care of us, refresh us, or give us the comfort that we really deserve. They take from us without giving us much back. We all need breaks from our stressed-out lives. We need entertainment, refreshment, recreation, and more. But we deserve great breaks—not just sneaking in a zoned-out chipsfest while gazing at the computer screen or mindlessly flipping channels as we flop in front of the TV. We need satisfying and exciting ways to nurture, restore, and entertain ourselves, which give us MORE, not less.

Breaking free of your soft addictions doesn’t mean that you avoid TV for the rest of your life, or that you forsake grande mocha forever, or that you’re forbidden to shop or surf the Internet. What it does mean is that you design a fulfilling, satisfying life that feeds your body, mind and your spirit. It means learning skills to help you overcome your dependence on these life-robbing habits but that also then become the building blocks of a truly great life—a life of MORE.

The Soft Addiction Solution

Learning to Live with MORE

To overcome our soft addictions we have to resolve to live a life of MORE. We want a life with more spiritual and personal fulfillment. We want a life where we’re engaging with those around us. We want a life of deep social connections; a life of growth and of ever-moving-forward on our journey to the next mountain and the next goal.

To live a life of MORE, you don’t have to think of “giving up” things you enjoy, but rather, think of ways you can incorporate more self-care and self-expression. Think of ways you can become more creative and more YOU.

When we think of self-care, we often feel guilty or indulgent about taking time to do the things that make us feel good. In truth, taking time for self-care helps us thrive and is much higher priority and more fulfilling a goal than avoiding it and using soft addictions to be self-destructive. When we take the time for self-care, we add things to our schedule like exercise, nourishing healthy foods, meditation, massage, and outdoor activities.

Self-care helps us reach our vision and work toward our goals. It gives us energy and nourishment to make it through our journey. It helps us to identify and fulfill our yearnings and care for the longings of our heart.

We have to find ways to develop our talents, gifts, and skills. What makes us feel special? What helps us contribute to the world around us? If you’re a great writer, write. If you love to paint, paint. If you love to sing or dance, sing and dance! These activities help sooth us. They help us express ourselves and live our lives more fully. They are more important than the soft addictions we might be using to avoid them, or to eat up the time we could be spending on developing these talents.

Become more compassionate, more creative, and more full of humor and positivity. This lightness and joy brings more purpose in our lives and a great fulfillment and outlet.

Focus on intimacy and building on social connections. Our connections with those around us form the basis of our satisfaction and success. That doesn’t mean we seek out our personal fulfillment through others, but it means connecting with those around us, listening, and forging stronger bonds.

Intimacy requires vulnerability and an ability to express our emotions to each other and be open. No, you don’t need to constantly focus on your emotions and add drama to every situation, but get in touch with the yearnings and longings of your heart.

As you work to bring more joy, more zest, and MORE LIFE into your world, you might find there’s less room for soft addictions and less need to zone out, procrastinate and avoid. You’ll be more engaged and more fulfilled.


Learn to live a life of MORE, and embrace life more fully every day. For more ideas on how you can engage and grow, visit our website.


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

New Year, Stronger Relationships: How To Truly Connect

Maybe you’re married or in a relationship, or in the words of social media, maybe “it’s complicated.” Whatever your relationship status, whether you’re single, dating or long-attached, chances are you wouldn’t mind bringing more passion and a stronger love connection into the New Year!

This can be the new year of stronger relationships. Learning how to truly connect brings peace and prosperity to all aspects of our lives.


 

How many of us would like a stronger connection with our partner in the year ahead?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. So if your current actions aren’t resulting in the connection and charge you’re hoping for, why keep doing what you’re doing?

Time to change it up! Ignite or reignite the passion and get fired up!

Those in long-term relationships and marriages, might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, but after a while, don’t you just get kind of…comfortable? Isn’t all this ‘fiery passion’ just for new couples?”

How boring! Who wants to be in a passionless relationship?

What if I told you, you could have the same connection, the same passion and the same attraction for your partner today that you had when you were first dating? For those of you who are still playing the field or who might be re-entering the field after a breakup or divorce, wouldn’t you like to REALLY connect with someone else?

What it Means to Truly Connect

What does it mean to truly connect with another person? It’s more than sex or attraction. It’s also more than just “getting along.” When you see couples with a real connection, you might notice that they have a great back-and-forth or rhythm they follow. They just “click.”

The great thing about the click is that it’s not limited to just long-term couples or certain personality types. Everyone can click with another person and truly connect. In fact, you’ve probably clicked with quite a few people in your life already, whether they’re good friends, siblings, and yes, significant others.

Now, of course, there are factors like physical attraction, fundamental values, and other things that help us form bonds and create new relationships. If you’re dating online or if you’ve been “fixed up,” chances are you’re well aware that not everyone you meet is going to offer a love connection. Some are simply friendships, and some people have too many fundamental differences to bridge the gap.

However, two people who are self-aware, and who each have an openness and desire to engage, have a great chance at finding that “click.”

We have to get beyond the idea of a fairytale romance. The idea that someone else can “save” us, change us, or be the answer to what we need, sets us up for a false expectation and disappointment, leading to eventual resentment and distance. There’s no “one” person out there for any of us.

While this might sound unromantic or harsh, in reality, it’s the opposite! After all, if there were only one person out there in the world for each of us, what are the odds we’d ever find them (and find them at the ideal time in our lives to make the connection)? How sad would it be if our happiness hinged someone else or on simply one other person in the world?

Instead, when we open ourselves up to the possibility that there are many humans to connect with and learn from, the world seems like our oyster—a giant playground where we can test our relationships and connections, where we can learn from each other and experience new realizations about ourselves and about those we come in contact with.

Together, we can explore, learn and grow.

Similarly, if you resent your significant other or spouse for not being the answer or your “everything,” then this realization that there’s no “one” person out there should enable you to let that resentment go as well. Your spouse is just a person, just like you. They have their own wants and needs. They have their own yearnings and they’re made up of their experiences and interactions.

Viewing your partner as someone to explore, to get to know, and to learn about can help you shift away from the boredom or the feeling that your relationship is drifting along a passionless shoreline. There are things about your partner you have yet to learn. Even couples who have been married for fifty years still surprise each other and can discover and unlock new things about each other. Get back that sense of wonder; it’s the desire for growth and exploration that will propel you forward!

Embrace Differences

Each experience we have and each person we meet helps us form new context and opens up new neuropathways in our brains. Our brains are constantly growing and changing! As children, we’re always in a state of development and discovery because we’re confronted with so many new opportunities and new situations. As we age, these situations and opportunities come up less and less frequently. We get up, go to work along the same route, do the same job, come home, eat the same dinner and go to bed.

That routine, as comforting as it might seem, sets us up for boredom and discontent. As it turns out, we all need and desire new experiences! New experiences keep us feeling smart, engaged and alert. We want to continue to grow and learn. This growth and forward momentum is at the core of our humanity. We crave new experiences and with each discovery, we feel more alive and more connected.

So guess what? If you want to change the status quo with your spouse or if you want to feel invigorated and impassioned, you need to find a way to wake up your brain! This might mean trying a new activity like getting outdoors, going for a walk in a new neighborhood, exploring a new restaurant, or learning something together. You don’t have to fly to Giza to explore pyramids or take up skydiving; just a simple change of pace and new experience will set the wheels in motion.

Stop Avoiding. Start Engaging.

Whether you want to reform and strengthen your long-term connections or build a new connection, you have to get in the game. Dating sets up the perfect context for new activities and experiences. Each moment is a new opportunity to explore something together. After a few years, you might be used to the same restaurants and the same patterns, and that’s when boredom can settle in.

Instead, we have to engage! Budding and established relationships both require engagement. This also means embracing conflict. For so many of us, in our relationships, new or old, we shy away from conflict and confrontation. We want the other person to like us and we don’t want to fight. Maybe we were raised in families where fighting was scary or avoided. Maybe our parents taught us to ignore problems or pretend things were always “fine,” even when they weren’t.

If you want to feel MORE in your relationship, let the emotion in! That means it’s okay to say to your partner, “You’re really pissing me off,” or to tell them when you don’t like something they did or said. You can engage in a little debate and discourse. Just be sure to fight fair. Conflict is healthy!

Sometimes, when we’re conflict avoidant, we’re just building up resentment and distance. To snap out of it and reverse the trend, we have to let it out. As you explore your yearnings, you may start to identify areas where they aren’t being met. When you reach for ways to meet these yearnings, bring it up to your partner. Speak up and tell your partner how you feel!

Make this year the year you reignite your passion. Do the things that speak to you and keep you feeling vibrant and engaged. Open yourself to new experiences and explorations, and invite your partner to do the same. If they’re hesitant, don’t let it hold you back. Often, as you grow, you create a ripple effect to those around you. When they see you happier, more creative, more alive and more alert, they’ll want to “have what she’s having…”


Go forth and engage in self-exploration and discovery! Unlock what makes you happy and connect you with the world around you. For more information on ways to grow and transform your life and the world around you, visit Wright Now, right now!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.
Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!