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Time to give up

This is the month when most of the new year's resolutions fail. Here's a simple way to keep going.

Alex Dovhyi
Alex Dovhyi
2 min read
Time to give up
Photo: Dmitriy Ermakov

Every year on January 1st, nearly 50% of the world's population sets goals to lose weight, work out, save money, quit smoking, and more.

Yet, Pareto's law and dozens of studies tell us that most people will give up on 80% of our goals by mid-March.

But why do the New Year's resolutions fail? One of the biggest reasons is that we often aren't that emotionally attached/committed to the goal in the first place. Most of us feel obligated to set goals on January 1st. But we often don't feel any drive to start the goal on that particular day.

Another problem is that we're not "hungry" enough to work on the goal. When your goal is within your comfort zone, it usually doesn't motivate you enough. Making more money is a meh goal. But making more money so that my kids attend a private school with specific programs is much more motivating. One of the ways that help me all the time is to set a goal that, when achieved, will benefit not only me but to my kids, wife, or parents.

There's only one question worth asking when setting a goal:

"Why do you care about this goal?"

This simple question is an excellent way to understand whether or not you will achieve the goal. If you ask this question to people who often achieve their goals, you'll hear something like:

"The goal is my passion; it's what I'm here to do."

But most people will respond with:

"My wife or my boss is the one who will truly benefit from this goal,"

which is a sign that this person won't achieve the goal.

People who have an emotional connection to the goal are 108% more likely to achieve it successfully. So if you want to get the thing done, find a way to connect to it emotionally.

When you first think of the goal, ask yourself:

"Why do I really care about achieving this goal?"

An emotional connection to the resolution will help you overcome the challenges and keep your motivation.

You want the emotional attachment to the goal because emotions give us the energy to pursue them no matter how tough it gets.

Finally, New Year is not the only time during the year to set goals. You can do it today. So, define what your goal is, find an emotional connection to it, and you'll find a reason to care about the goal truly.

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Product designer exploring design’s interplay with product, business, and technology, and answering your questions about freelancing, career, and personal growth.