Why 92% of people don’t keep their resolutions

February 7, 2016/#embracinghard


priorities, priority, motivation, obstacles, goal

Did you know, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 25% of people give up on their resolutions within one week of setting them and 60% of people give up within six months? And most shockingly, only 8% – – eight percent! – – of people successfully achieve their resolutions. Have you ever wondered why making change a priority is so hard?

I remember the first day I saw Piper climb the stairs like a big girl instead of scaling them like a baby. I about had a heart attack watching her wobble up each step, her chubby hands grasping the railing. In moments like these, half of me wants to rush in and scoop my children to safety while the other half wants to leave the room to keep my mama-heart from leaping out of my chest.

Instead, I stood motionless on legs that felt like jelly, watching her climb and making sure she didn’t fall.

After a few weeks of watching her progress, I could see her little legs gain strength and see the confidence shine through her grip on the railing. That little child of mine was growing right before my eyes. Soon, I was comfortable letting her maneuver without me as a safety net.

On a day like any other I happened to be passing through the foyer as she was climbing the steps. This time I noticed she was encumbered by a cup of water she was carrying with her on her adventures. I watched as her step became halting and her little hands paused, deciding how best to grab the railing for support and keep the water from spilling.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of times in my life when I’m striving to move forward yet reluctant to let go of the things that hinder my way. I desperately hold onto anger, resentment, unforgiveness, excuses, or even activities and relationships that weigh me down and make my steps all that much harder.

I believe there’s a reason for this.

You see, when I hold onto those things, it’s easier to point fingers at someone else and shift the blame of who’s responsible for my failures. It’s easier for me to justify not achieving a goal or holding to a commitment. It’ easier to walk away from the hard work necessary to improve my imperfections. Because it simply isn’t my fault.

When I’m honest with myself, holding onto the past makes it easier to give up on what I want for my future. {tweet that}

motivation, obstacles, goal

So I started asking myself some simple questions, and you can too.

What is keeping me from my goal? Is it lack of time, lack of energy, lack of motivation? Is it competing priorities? Is it that I say I want something, but deep down know I’m not interested in doing the hard work that it takes to achieve it?

My husband works at a financial institution. Before kids, there were days he’d arrive at the office early and come home at bedtime, exhausted, but ready to do it all over again the next day.  He’s done well for himself, and with his hard work, he’s landed pretty high up on the company ladder.

Several years ago he had a young employee who told him he wanted to become an executive at a young age, too. He said he wanted to have the success Henry’s experienced before he hits the ripe age of 40. Do you know what he said in his next breath? That the hours expected at his entry-level position (8am – 5 pm) were too demanding. That he wanted a better work/life balance. That he wanted to have time to enjoy the salary he planned to make.

Funny thing is, he couldn’t see that what he wanted and what he was willing to do for it were on two completely different wave lengths.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think everyone has to work long hours or even want to. What I’m saying is that most of us want the reward without the work. Heck, me too!  Sign me up to a life where I can eat anything I want, not work out, and still be in shape. If that’s out there, I want it!

I saw an excellent article along these lines the other day. It said most of us ask ourselves what we want out of life instead of asking the more important question of what pain do we want in our life? What are we willing to put up with to get what we want?

It’s easy to want great things for ourselves, but the hard part is pushing through the hard days and the tough practice to get to point of growth. If we give up at the slightest hint of difficulty, we won’t ever reach our goals.

I’ve found making a goal isn’t the hard part, the difficulty comes in pushing through the obstacles, staying focused on the outcome, and dragging ourselves kicking and screaming across the finish line if we must, to attain our goal.

motivation, obstacles, goal

The reality is, most of us would rather stay comfortable than willingly go through discomfort. But as Jillian Michaels likes to say, “You’re not going to die. You might feel like you’re going to die, but I promise you, you won’t.”

And I would say the same to you. Is there something you’ve thought for years you wanted to accomplish, but you haven’t because you don’t have enough time? Enough money? Enough support? Enough __________ ? Or because it’s harder to achieve than you thought it would be?

You get to decide. You get to decide today to stop pointing fingers and shifting the blame to someone else. You get to decide if you really want it and if you’re willing to invest the time and money to getting it done. You get to decide to set down the glass of water you’re holding tightly onto, so that your hands are open and ready to work for a brighter future.

motivation, obstacles, goal

And here’s where I shamelessly plug that if you need support, I can help you. In fact, I’ll shout it from the roof tops that I’d love to help you. I live to walk alongside clients and help them reflect on who they are and what they want to accomplish. I find it a joy to cheer them on as they put in the hard work of identifying obstacles then leaping over them to make it across the finish line. How about it? You in? For this week, I’m offering a free 30- minute consultation to those seriously interested in finding out if life coaching is for them. If that’s you, contact me to schedule your call today.

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Comments (1)

  • Linda Hogeland / February 7, 2016 / Reply

    You should make a wonderful Life Coach Leighann! You see things with such clarity,…and this story of Piper’s stair climbing accomplishment really was an excellent example! Those stairs seemed huge and she looked so small…yet she made her way up them, by taking that first step. Then with each step after that, she gained courage, and determination, and kept on going until she succeded!!! She wanted to do it…and bless her heart She Did It!!!
    She is such a doll, and I can’t believe she is old enough already to be climbing stairs like that! I will keep this image of her doing this in my mind, and I will use it to help me when I feel unable to accomplish a task set before me! Yes, even at age 65, there are things that keep me from succeeding!
    I think you will have a book to write as these blog posts continue. Just keep them all…and voila…a self help book will be born! ?
    You have been through so much Leighann…and you are very wise now in all that you have learned through it all! God has been there with you…just as you were there watching Piper from the foot of the stairs! He loved you so much, yet He allowed you to learn and grow, with each step, on the huge staircases that you faced! He gave you what you needed and stood by as a loving Father, and watched over you through it all!

    Now you are more prepared to help others…
    Thank you for wanting to help others…
    To cheer them on…and to coach them!

    You are a very special person!

    Love, Linda H.

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(c) 2016 Leighann Marquiss