Why do people fail their New Years Resolutions?


It has been a long time since I have written a post on this blog. After a two-year hiatus, there is no better way to start 2015 by first addressing an important question that people keep asking me.

Why is it that over 90% of so-called New Years Resolutions fail?

People that actually meet their goals, don’t need to wait for a New Year to announce their ‘resolutions.’ They have a list of goals at any given moment of the year. Their goals are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic with timely deadlines. This is also called the S.M.A.R.T method.

Some of the reasons people fall through on their goals.

1. Goals are unwritten. If you write your goals, you are doing better than 88% of the population that have little to no written goals. Why is writing goals down so important? It is because our ancestors and fellow Homo sapiens were born to hit targets they can see. It has been around since the dawn of civilization, and is unlike to change. If you tell yourself your going to lose 20 pounds in 6 months, it may give you the first push to get started. After a while, you may get sidetracked; you took two cheat days instead of one, you missed a workout, results don’t seem to go along as planned. Sooner or later you lose sight of your original goal, you start to cut corners, and eventually give up all together.

2. You fail to commit to your word. Imagine how it would feel like if you told yourself you would go to the gym three times a week, and by Saturday you still haven’t gone once. That is self-sabotage at its finest; you are subconsciously programming yourself that it is okay to wait until later, that there would always be more ‘time’. This brings us to the next point.

3. No sense of urgency. The fabled motivational speaker Jim Rohn said it best, “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Say you wanted to earn a million dollars. A million dollars by when? 5 years? 15 years? 60 years? I am pretty sure if someone had 60 years to earn a million dollars, that would be fairly straightforward (million/ 60 years = ~$16,667 annually excluding taxes and inflation), but they would also probably be broke. However, a million dollars in 5 years would average $200,000 per year. Same goal, different time frame. I doubt anyone would want the former, but that’s what most people tell themselves when they set goals without a specific time frame! It’s no wonder that people will go crazy with a looming deadline in the next 48 hours, and are hesitant to move if they have a full year to do it.

4. Goals are not specific and measurable. A large hefty goal such as running a marathon can seem insurmountable if it isn’t broken down into manageable milestones. So when people announce a large goal without haven’t a plan to conquer it, they are setting themselves up to fail. The worst waste of time is to go around fooling yourself. My suggestion would be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and bi-annual milestones when breaking down a goal.

5. Lack of discipline. It is so easy to get distracted in this generation of LED screens and gadgets. We live in a time where everyday tasks seem convenient and easy to do. What is worth doing, is not easy. If it were easy everyone would do it. There wouldn’t be such thing as “Weight Watchers” or the equal if everyone could stick to their fitness goals. Under such turbulent circumstances, it has never been a better time to turn off your phone, shut off the TV, and get things done. Achievers are those who stick to it, to the end.

6. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people. How likely are you going to do anything if you are constantly getting negativity coming from the people around you. Words like “you can’t do that,” “just give up,” or “its never been done before.” Just because they haven’t done it before doesn’t mean you can’t. Zig Ziglar said, “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success that some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” Build a solid support group of people who see the best in you, hold you to higher standards, and keep you accountable for your actions. It’s easy to find people who will let you get by with average, but the question is, “Will you settle for that?” Average people create average results and lead average lives.

There are many online and offline resources for creating and keeping goals, some which I will list below. In 2014, I created a group called ‘Winner’s Circle’, out to cultivate an ecosystem of young and ambitious people eager and yearning for success. Feel free to join us, as we are building mini-communities in both North America, and the Asia-Pacific.

S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting

Winner’s Circle

People mentioned:

Jim Rohn

Zig Ziglar

The importance of immediate feedback

Seth Godin once wrote, that “the key to changing long term behaviour is with short term behaviour.” In one of his blog posts, he illustrated this point by pointing out that if you put tape on the back of your shirt, it would prevent a person from rounding their shoulders. Any effort to do so would cause ‘feedback’ given off by the tape, which will instantly bring you awareness of your bad behaviour. In the same vein, it is difficult to achieve goals without clarity of where you are going, and to implement systems that keep you on track.

It happens that I also attempted to use tape to fix my round shoulders condition. I took a sizeable piece of packing tape(bad idea), and taped it to my beater under my shirt. I also placed part of the tape just below each of my shoulder blades(also a bad idea). I slipped back on my shirt and went throughout the day with the piece of tape on, which really helped my overall posture, up until I had to remove it. Long story short, the tape left two marks on my back that were itchy and I took a few days for it to go away. This in itself is also feedback, and next time I would be better off using flimsier tape.

Key to achieving your goals in the next 90 days

Recently I came across a YouTube video, which was a recording of Anthony Robbins giving a seminar on achieving your goals. So I decided to go through with one of the action plans that he talked about and that was listing 2 goals that would like to meet in the next 90 days. One goal relates to my personal life, and one relates to my career life. For both I gave a short paragraph of why I would like to meet this goal as well as a brief paragraph on how I am going to do it. Knowing how to achieve a goal is not enough, you must have enough reason why you want to achieve it.

What are yours?


Personal Goal for the next 90 days:

Gain 10 pounds of muscle

 Current State: 140 Pounds

I want to achieve this goal in the next 90 days because I believe that improving my physical well-being also helps in stabilizing my mental well-being as well. I want to look and feel great, and have an aura of confidence that people will admire. Being stronger also means I will have more power and energy to do what I love which such as playing golf or networking/ communicating with others. Changing my muscle build will affect the way I am perceived as well as improving my posture as well as the way I walk.

In order to achieve this I need to increase my calorie intake and workout at least 3 times a week and by taking physical instruction from a trainer at least once a week. I will need to weigh my self at the beginning of each week to measure my progress. I will also keep a food log of how many meals I ate during the day, how many fruits and vegetables I ate, and how many glasses of water I drank. I will also tell my accountability partner(someone who I call everyday and tell him my goals of the day) of my goals so he can remind me and punish me if I do not go through with them. This requires full honesty and responsibility on my part.

Career Goal for the next 90 days:

Improve my oral communication, listening, writing and reading skills.

 Current State:

Lack of full understanding of other person’s viewpoint, too self-centered, poor spelling and grammar, redundancy in wording conversations, reading speed and reading comprehension is sub-par.


I want to achieve this goal because communication skills both verbally and orally can be a deciding factor during crucial conversations and getting the message across. It can be a deciding factor in whether someone is successful as a salesman or not. I am a salesman so I need to master this key aspect in my life. I need to be able to understand the concerns of others, as well as show empathy when needed. It can get me what I want in life both in material terms as well as in social status.  I also want to be a respected individual for what I say and do.  Even though this goal is a lifetime mission, I still believe that I must improve in this area everyday. I must raise my standards everyday.

In order to achieve this goal I must practice what I learn daily, whether the source is from books, articles, audiotapes, or other people. I will pick up NLP books, body language books, negotiation books, and books on communication and public speaking. This requires that I am honest in assessing my weaknesses as well as finding people to communicate with. I need to reflect on past conversations with people and ask myself what I did well, what I could have done better, and what I did wrong and need to correct. I will record these conversations in my diary so I can use them later on for reflection. I will also try to take any sort of public speaking, speech training, NLP, communication skills courses to get me closer to achieving my goal.

It’s National Chocolate Day!

We all love chocolate don’t we? Matter of fact, I’m about to head out and grab a few sweets of my own. I have a little trouble deciding which brand to buy. I have always been a fan of Swiss chocolates Frey and Lindt. Godiva is a classic as well. Since Halloween is coming up, and the holidays are just around the corner, I might have to pick up a few boxes of Ferrero Rocher and Guylian as gifts. Some of us may still prefer our Kit Kats or Toblerones but I would like to try La Maison Du Chocolat this time around. Any opinions on this chocolate? So what are your favorite chocolates?

Fireproof way to achieving your goals

We all have our lists. Grocery lists, lists of activities, lists of goals, lists of deadlines. I think the most crucial element to staying organized is to keep a lot of lists. Quoting Richard Branson, “I have always lived my life by making lists: lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen. Each day I work through these lists, and that sequence of calls propels me forward.” 

Currently, what I’m doing every morning now is writing up a list of goals that need to complete by the end of the day. I draw checkboxes next to each goal as a metric for measuring my progress. Needless to say, a goal is only achievable if you set deadlines and measure results.

For example, one of my goals is to finish two books a week. Now most people would see this as a difficult goal to keep. I assume that the average book contains 300 pages. If I divide the total number of pages I need to read with the days spent reading it (6 in this case with one extra day for safe measure) I am left with 100 pages to read per day. On my list for the day I write, “Pages read” with two checkboxes next to it. Since I divided my daily goal into morning and evening sessions, each checkbox represents 50 pages read. 50 pages in the morning and 50 pages in the evening do not seem too hard now does it?

Happiness is not a secret


Some of these statements may seem intuitive, but how often do people follow the advice. Even I sometimes neglect some of these gems. Take it as a grain of salt.

Live an honest life. Keep your promises. Make no excuses. Assume responsibility and carry through with it. Be open with yourself. Maintain your integrity, it means everything. Be humble, with yourself and with others. Listen more than you speak. Respect the opinions of others. Give more than you take, be generous. Word hard, work smart. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. You do not need approval to become someone great. Do not regret anything. Learn from your mistakes. Grow spiritually. Master your emotions. Keep a balance of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Appreciate the ones you love. Don’t take compassion and affection for granted. Be kind to others, it is life’s greatest joy. Let go of all those feelings of entitlement. Change what you cannot accept, accept what you cannot change. Help others get what they want, don’t expect anything in return.

Life is beautiful, live it to the fullest. Start by looking within.