Are New Year Resolutions Pointless Regarding Achieving Professional and Personal Results?

Making New Year resolutions (NYRs) seems like a good idea right? The opportunity to create a plan to make this coming year the best one yet, filled with progress and achievement, sounds like a proactive approach to take.

Whether it is professional or personal or both, millions upon millions of people set NYRs every year, across an array of different goals, however a shockingly small percentage succeed (see the pie charts below).

So why is it that just 8% of people have stuck with their resolutions for longer than 1 year, whilst 92% of people have thrown in the towel?

Whilst the turn of the year does serve as a good opportunity to make change, there are a few major issues as to why so many people fail and so few succeed:

1. The goals are often weakly structured.

2. Risks and pitfalls are poorly analysed.

3. A person’s psychology is not factored in, thus the resolutions are prone to all sorts of risks and triggers, dooming most to fail.

4. Most goals focus predominantly on actions, and rather little on outcomes and “why” they want the outcome.

5. There is limited or no acknowledgement of the total costs that will have to be paid in order to achieve the goal. Having that clarity and emotional buy in from the start is key.

6. Actually, every new day that arrives provides an opportunity to make constructive changes to our lives and aim to improve our results….so it really doesn’t have to be just yearly. So there is a lot of missed chances and wasted time with the NYR method.

Motivation & Momentum

Perhaps because a new year is viewed as a clean slate and a fresh start, it is what drives people to use this approach. Because of this, it is also a time where motivation is naturally elevated. Will power tends to be higher too.  

The problem with this is that will power and motivation almost always wanes, unless steps are taken to capture and harness that motivation.  

Momentum plays a crucial role, as does being resourceful in finding a way to regain momentum when it fades. After all it’s much much easier to follow through and take action when things are going well and are in a state of flow, but it’s way harder to do so when things are challenging and out of flow.

The Strength & Value of Your Words

Our words, whether that is via thoughts or speaking, carry weight and have a certain amount of value.

What we say to others matters, but just as important, is what we say to ourselves.

Positive Reinforcement: The more we follow through on what we say we will do, the strength of our words grows and the bond we have with ourselves gets reinforced. If this is sustained over a period of time, it eventually gets to the point where when a person says they will do something, they know with certainty, that they will take action and do it. Think of how immensely powerful getting to this point can be.

Negative Reinforcement: The reverse is also true. The more we say we’ll do something and then do not follow through, the strength of our words weakens and the bond we have with ourselves erodes. If this is sustained over a period of time, it eventually gets to the point where when a person says they will do something, there is little to no value in their words, and therefore they know with a high likelihood that they will NOT take action. Think about how detrimental this can be.

A More Effective Way Forward - Our FORMCOG Power Goal Setting Strategy™️

This is just one small part of our wider framework, however it is a very important part. Effective goal setting can be the difference between success and failure….between you getting the future outcome you want and not.

Our FORMCOG Power Goal Setting Strategy™️ a comprehensive goal setting strategy goes into significant depth across the 6 pillars of goal setting. It addresses the aforementioned issues thus making the probability of success increase dramatically.

This of course is not just for NY resolutions, but for any goal or future outcome you want to achieve, whether it be a professional one, or personal one.

If you are interested to find out more about this strategy and how you could benefit from it, please just send a quick email to and we can help you.

Final Comments

So, to answer the initial question “are new year resolutions pointless when it comes to getting results both professionally and personally?” I think the answer can be both yes and no.

They can serve a great purpose in moving people into a state of setting targets and taking action. Step 1, check!  But without a more effective goal setting and execution structure in place, the efforts to achieve the resolution (or any goal / future outcome) will prove to be temporary for the vast majority of people.

In their ordinary guise, NYRs are pointless for most and the wonderful goals that are set, just fade away. Until they maybe get dusted off and used again at the same time the following year and the pattern repeats!

But by placing a resolution / goal / future outcome into an effective and comprehensive goal setting strategy such as The FORMCOG Power Goal Setting Strategy™️, this increases the chances of success.

“May the odds be ever in your favour.”

Written by: Dan Gayle – Peak Vantage CEO.

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