It’s New Year’s resolution time. Every year, we sit down with a renewed determination to finally lose the weight, pay off the credit cards or launch that business venture. And every year, 92 percent of us fail. You might say New Year’s resolutions are fairy tales grown-ups tell themselves. But why don’t we succeed?
According to Brian Moran, author along with Michael Lennington, of The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months, the reason New Year’s resolutions fail is simple. “The number one enemy of most New Year’s resolutions isn’t feasibility, a lack of know-how, or even a lack of motivation,” says Moran. “The number one enemy of most resolutions is time.”
A year is just too long a time to accomplish one’s goals. In January, it’s easy to procrastinate when you have another 11 months in which to get to work. Even in mid-July, there’s still plenty of time to make it happen; there’s no real urgency. The next thing you know, the holidays are looming, and it’s too late. There’s nothing left to do but pin one’s hopes on the coming year. “For many people, this depressing chain of events recycles on a yearly basis because far-away deadlines allow — even encourage — us to be slack on execution,” says Moran.