7 Reasons Why Resolutions Fail

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At this point in our journey, we have collected over 100,000 handwritten dreams in the form of stickers on the side of our 1970 VW surf bus. We are amazed by how the simple act of writing down what you want for your life can make such a big difference. People we’ve met have since become debt free, lost 100+ pounds, healed a marriage, adopted a child, and freed themselves from an addiction - to name just a few. The stories we hear are endless and inspiring. But what about the dreams that go unfulfilled? What about the goals that remain on the bus unmet and fade with time as we roll from state to state?

Here are 7 of the biggest reasons why resolutions fail:

  1. Not written down: Huffington Post reported that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams simply by writing them down. This is a stat we know. This is the purpose behind the Oola Dream Tour and getting people to take the time to put a sharpie to a sticker and slap their dream on our VW.

  2. Written wrong: If you’re writing your goals down, are you doing so tactically and in a way you are more likely to follow through? George Doran in 1981 came up with S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. He suggested that each written goal follow this S.M.A.R.T. format:

    S: Specific

    M: Measurable

    A: Accountable (we modified this)

    R: Realistic and

    T: linked to Time

  3. Standing in your own way: If you have repeatedly set a goal and it hasn’t come to be, maybe there is something deeper within you blocking the way. In our books, we call these the OolaBlockers. The 7 most common are: fear, guilt, anger, self-sabotage, laziness, envy and focus issues (lack of or misdirected). Is it possible you need to forgive someone (or yourself) from a pain you are carrying with you? Maybe you need to see your worth or push through fear? Dig deeper, many times goal-setting success isn’t in the tactical, but in the emotional. Confront and heal so you can move forward.

  4. Over-committing: We want you to hit all the goals you set for your life, but if you overcommit you often end up feeling less than when these goals aren’t accomplished. Because, yet again, you told yourself you were going to do something and it didn’t happen. You need to flip this internal dialogue by narrowing your focus. Set and reach an attainable goal. Build momentum. Switch your mindset from, “I don’t believe in resolutions because they have never worked for me.” to, “When I put it on paper and commit to it, it’s going down!”

  5. Someone else’s dream: Make sure your goal is leading you to your dream, and not someone else’s plan for your life. Too many times we live our lives for others. We do something because our parents want it, a high-school counselor recommended it, our spouse suggests it, or our friends are posting about it on social media. This is important because if you build someone else’s dream, you’ll never find true contentment.

  6. Not willing to “give to get”: Put bluntly, are you willing to do the work? Will you make the sacrifice? The most difficult goals are often the most rewarding, but they take effort. Most times, you need to sacrifice now to win later. This is true with debt, weight loss, growing a business, building a relationship and more. With the internet, access to free information from mentors who have done what you want to do has never been more available. Choose a mentor you respect, craft a plan, do the work, and persist through the challenges you will face.

  7. No accountability: We mentioned above that we modified the time-tested S.M.A.R.T goal setting format. We changed the “A” from “Assignable” to “Accountable”. Find someone you trust and give them permission to stand you up and keep you accountable. Let them know that this goal is important to you and you give them permission to speak up when they see you drifting.

Since when has it become okay to get by? Since when has overwhelmed and dreamless become acceptable. It doesn’t have to be this way. God has designed you for greatness and a purpose. Don’t settle for ordinary when extraordinary is within you.

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