5 Reasons Your New Year’s Resolutions Usually Fail (And How To Crush Them Instead)


It would be great to crush your New Year’s resolutions for once, wouldn’t it?

I mean you try, but why does it seem so difficult to actually make progress in life and leadership? I get that.

I think we all have a few resolutions that make it on the list every year, only to be abandoned, forgotten and resurrected again.

Or maybe you’ve just given up. I know more than a few people who have.

While statistics can be a little less than reliable when it comes to resolutions, one study shows as few as 8% of people accomplish their resolutions.

And yet resolutions pull achievers back in, because people who make resolutions are as much as 10x more likely to achieve their goals than people who don’t.

I’m a goal setter, and usually, I hit the majority of the goals I set.

And when I don’t hit them, pretty much 100% of the time there’s one reason why: my pattern didn’t change.

Essentially, your patterns, which really consist of your habits, shape your future.

If you have a pattern for exercise, you’ll exercise. If you don’t you won’t.

Ditto with goals like developing your communication skills, sharpening your leadership, reading more books and tucking your kids into bed at night. All of that is 100% pattern and habit driven.

The challenge with most leaders?

We don’t feel like we’re in control of our patterns.

The High Impact Leader course is a 10 unit course that’s 100% about your patterns and habits. I even show you how to calendar to your priorities and give you strategies to get rid of every other competing priority.

For just a few more days, the High Impact Leader course is open to new registrations. I’d love you to be part of the class of 2018, and you can learn more and sign up here. Too busy to do it now? No worries. Do it at your own pace on your own schedule. Once you’re in, you’re in. But regisgration only open for a very limited time.

High Impact Leaders adopt new patterns that change everything.

Here’s why: if you don’t change your patterns, you can predict what 2018 will be like; it will be exactly like 2017.

Next year will be exactly like this year, unless you decide it won’t be.

Here are 5 reasons most people fail at their new year’s resolutions.

1. Your resolutions are essentially intentions

The problem I had early on in making resolutions is that my resolutions were intentions. They were things I wanted to do, but I actually had no plan on how to accomplish them.

What’s lacking for many people is a strategy.

Your strategy, not your intention, determines your success. Many people intend to spend more time with their family, to be less scattered at work, to manage their time better, to ensure their top priories get accomplished, but they haven’t found a strategy to get them to that place.

When you look at your resolutions, ask yourself: what’s my strategy?

No strategy = almost guaranteed failure.

Strategy geats intention every time.

2. Your priorities keep being hijacked

So you’ve got great intentions, and maybe you even develop a strategy. Good job.

But then life happens. Your phone starts buzzing. People knock on your door or hover over your cubicle.

Everybody just needs five minutes of your time, but by the end of the day you realize that various people took all your time. And you’re way further behind than you were at 8 a.m.

Tell me if this isn’t true: No one ever asks you to accomplish your priorities. They only ask you to accomplish theirs.

If you’re a preacher, nobody emails or texts you to ask you to write a killer message. Nobody cancel’s their meeting with you and says “Just thought you should have more prep time.”

If you’re working on a key project, how many times does anyone knock on your door and say “Hey, I want to give you three hours of breathing room to get it done. Let’s reschedule our week?”

You need to be the champion of your priorities. Nobody else will be.

3. You added, but never subtracted

Often when you want to do better, you add things to your ever more complex life. And when you do that, you sabotage your success.

Let’s be honest, adding to your life is easier than subtracting, until you hit the wall of overwhelm. Not only do you get completely overwhelmed, but you also diminish the value of everything you’re trying to do.

As Craig Groeschel recently put it, if everything’s important, nothing’s important. If everything’s a priority, nothing’s a priority.

Leaders who reach their goals are better at subtraction than addition. They subtract more things from their life than they add.

Do you?

After all, you’re probably only truly great at one or two things. Focus more of your time on those, and cut things that are average to good.

Subtraction is often more powerful than addition when it comes to accomplishment.

4. You didn’t address your patterns

We’ve already talked about this, but it deserves more space because it’s such a huge issue.

If you study your everyday life, it really consists of repeated patterns. You likely do the same thing every morning as soon as you get up.

You follow the same routine most days at work, and your weeks and seasons have a rhythm to them.

Even if you say, no, my life is random chaos, wonderful. You have a pattern of random chaos.

The question is are your patterns helping you or hurting you?

If you have unrealized goals and dreams, your patterns are hurting you, not helping you. Because if your patterns supported your dreams, you would have accomplished them.

5. You left your calendar out of the equation

Open your calendar.

Do you see your goals scheduled right into the rhythm of your every day?

Probably not.

An amazing thing happens when you decide to schedule your dreams daily: they happen.

Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

high impact leader


This year’s High Impact Leader course involves a brand new High Impact Leader calendar template which you can download for GoogleCal, iCal and multiple other formats. It will help you schedule to your priorities every day, so you’re off when you want to be off and so you get your most important work done when you’re on.

You get that free if you register now.

The High Impact leader is open for a few more days. This cohort comes with numerous bonuses we’ve never offered before and includes admission to a private Facebook group that I’m a part of.

I’d love to invest in you in 2018.

And then you can think of the course as an investment in yourself. Once you’re in, do it at your own pace in your own time. It’s totally up to you.

Remember, if you change you, you change everything.

What Kills Your Resolve?

What reasons have you seen that sabotage your New Year’s resolutions?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

5 Reasons Your New Year’s Resolutions Usually Fail (And How To Crush Them Instead)


  1. Doug Kibbe on January 1, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Excellent read Carey! I have been praying that God would make me the leader I need to be to lead our consistently growing church. This article is one answer to that prayer! I know I need to really inspect my patterns, and subtract some low priority tasks.
    Thanks for all you do!

  2. JACQUELINE Jones on December 30, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    My resolutions fail when I take my focus off my goal.

  3. Andrew Thomas on December 30, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks Carey!

    First time reader and I’m highly considering the course as an investment for my ministry!

  4. Jeff Herron on December 30, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks again Carey!
    Once again you come through with powerful life truth that is immediately applicable to this moment in time.

    Speaking of time, it’s time for me to step back end examine my patterns.

    You are loved and appreciated!
    Thank you.

  5. Patrice Hall on December 30, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Two of my main pitfalls are adding and not subtracting and having a pattern to accomplish my goals. Great ideas to think about as I goal set for 201&!

  6. John Serafin on December 30, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Good ideas! Thanks!

  7. Laurie Hayes on December 30, 2017 at 8:08 am

    If anyone is looking to team up, could you please have them contact me at lauriephayes@yahoo.ca or they can call me at Laurie 705.205.0473 thank you for your help, I just caught wind of this, and can’t afford it at full price. 🙁

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