Did you know that nine out of every ten people who make resolutions break them before the end of January? While this statistic can seem startling and even depressing, it doesn’t have to represent you. What would you say if I told you there is a real reason many people continue to break resolutions? Well, there is, and we are deep diving into it today!
Reasons Why Resolutions Don’t Last
Many people blame their broken resolutions on a lack of willpower, resources, or time. While these can impact one’s ability to keep their resolutions more easily, they are not the reason why resolutions don’t usually last.
So, what is the culprit?
Unresolved subconscious restrictions: In other words, something inside is holding us back without our even realizing it.
Let’s jump into that and discover how it affects resolutions and goals.
In 2019, I checked myself into a Psychological Counseling Services (PCS) facility in Arizona. I was dealing with depression, PTSD, and a few other issues, and it was time for me to put in the hard work so I could heal.
Throughout my time in treatment, I had to revisit my past and make peace with it. This journey was not one I was eager to go on at first. A lot of “hidden memories” resurfaced involving my dad. I began to remember specific events involving emotional, mental, and physical abuse. I realized true healing and progress couldn’t start until I processed this trauma and forgave my dad for all he had done to me.
Once I recognized this unresolved subconscious restriction, forgave my dad, forgave myself, and began healing, I was able to reach my true potential. This type of healing – whether with or without therapy – is what many people need in order to overcome the subconscious limits keeping them from sticking to their resolutions.
How to Make a Resolution and Stick With It
Now that we know what usually causes people to give up on their resolutions, let’s explore how you can make a resolution and stick with it. And, no, you don’t have to wait until January 1, 2024, to implement these changes – you can start today!
Identify Your Subconscious Restrictions
As we previously mentioned, unresolved subconscious restrictions are often the primary problem when it comes to broken resolutions. Many people who break resolutions have an internal issue where they are “stuck.” This hidden restriction could originate from childhood trauma, self-doubt, or many other places.
You must first identify your internal limit and break through your subconscious programming to actually keep your resolutions. But how?
A great place to start is by making peace with your past, just like I had to do in therapy. Even if you had a great childhood, something else in your past – whether from yourself or someone else – could be the source of current issues, holding you back from keeping your resolutions. Check out this blog post that explains how to make peace with your past, which will help you identify and fix the problem.
Continue to examine yourself further to see if there are any other areas where the subconscious restriction could have originated. Perhaps you believe, deep down, that you will fail this time because you’ve had trouble succeeding before. Maybe you are a perfectionist with unrealistic expectations, which causes you to give up before you have a chance to succeed. Whatever the reason, you must be honest with yourself to achieve real progress.
Make a Plan for Moving Forward
Once you identify and resolve the subconscious restriction holding you back, you can plan to move forward with your resolution. Here are a few helpful tips for setting sustainable resolutions:
- Avoid making vague resolutions. Instead, set distinct goals with clear direction. For example, instead of saying, “I want to save more money this year,” say, “I will save $X each month by doing A, B, and C.”
- Set attainable resolutions. If you want to lose weight, don’t aim to lose 20 pounds in the first week. Unrealistic resolutions never work.
- Hire a coach who can help you concentrate on your goal and provide the tools to achieve it.
- Stay accountable by sharing your resolution with others and getting a partner with a similar goal.
- Ensure you have enough dopamine production. Dopamine is a vital neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, reward, and pleasure, and it can be helpful when keeping resolutions. You can increase dopamine with high-quality sleep, sunlight exposure, good nutrition, exercise, and meditation.
- Be ready for a battle between the emotional side of your brain and the thinking side of your brain. The emotional side may want to quit when things get tough, but you can be prepared beforehand by strengthening your “thinking” brain to win the battle!
- Track your progress and pay attention to how far you have come from when you first set the resolution. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself and your victories throughout your journey.
Remind Yourself of Your “Why”
Remind yourself of the reason you set your resolution in the first place. Perhaps you resolve to lower your cholesterol and eat heart-healthy because your grandfather died of a heart attack at 55. While it helps to remember this, your real “why” doesn’t involve your grandfather. Instead, it revolves around getting healthier so YOU can live past age 55 to enjoy your kids, grandkids, and all life has to offer. Never forget your “why” as you work to keep your resolution.
I hope this blog has helped you identify your unresolved subconscious restriction and given you the tools you need to keep your future resolutions! I invite you to take a few moments to visit my free resource section, where you’ll find additional tools to help you thrive throughout life. Lastly, for an inside look into my life and how I learned to overcome many of life’s difficulties, order a copy of my book, Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity.