Just do it’. That’s what we often tell ourselves. ‘Just do more sports’. ‘Just speak up more during meetings’. ‘Just delegate more to others’. ‘Just go to more networking events’….If only it were that simple… Most of us, when noticing no progress, call ourselves bad names like ‘I’m such a loser’. Or we find THE reason why we didn’t progress: ‘it’s because I don’t have enough time’. The problem is … as long as we blame identity or lack of time, nothing changes. Progress remains close to zero. In order to successfully keep resolutions, we need to know the REAL reason(s) we didn’t act. And do something about those.  


How to keep resolutions


The 7 typical reasons people don’t keep resolutions

In our experience, there are 7 main reasons why people don’t follow up on their good intent:

  • ‘not worth it’: they consider the activity is not that important
  • ‘not top of mind’: they just forget about it
  • ‘not me’: it feels inconsistent with their identity or their values
  • ‘not a priority’: it is important, but other things are more urgent
  • ‘too daunting’: it’s such a big challenge that it feels overwhelming
  • ‘too awkward’: it feels uncomfortable to act upon
  • ‘not working’: previous attempts have been pretty unsuccessful .


A practical example  

Imaging somebody who wants to go to more networking events. Yet doesn’t act on it… Read the person’s self-talk below. No wonder there is no progress on the good intent…

  • You know – those networking events – I can very well live without attending them!” (=‘Not worth it’)
  • Oops – I completely forgot about networking again…” (=‘Not top of mind’)
  • “All that ‘schmoozing’. It’s so fake. Pretending that you’re interested in others, so you can use them afterwards. I’m not that type of person…” (=‘Not me’)
  • “I don’t have time now. I need to do that other things first…” (=‘Not a priority’)
  • “It’s such a huge task… Meeting people once is not enough – afterwards I’ll need to keep interacting with them… what a nightmare…”  (=‘Too daunting’)
  • “I don’t like those networking events… I don’t know anybody there. I never know what to say…” (=‘Too awkward’)
  • I’ve gone to a couple events but I didn’t meet anybody interesting. It just doesn’t work.” (=‘Not working’)

Now think about something you’ve been procrastinating on lately. What ‘self-talk’ have you been using? Which of the 7 obstacles have been present for you, and makes it hard for you to keep resolutions?


Overcoming the obstacles

What to do once you have identified the obstacles that apply? Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • ‘not worth it’: find reasons why it’s a true must to act on the intent
  • ‘not top of mind’: make yourself accountable for acting, vàv yourself or vàv others
  • ‘not me’: find ways to connect your good intent with who you are, deep inside
  • ‘not a priority’: reflect why it’s absolutely necessary you act NOW
  • ‘too daunting’: decide to progress one small step at a time, and notice the impact
  • ‘too awkward’: convince yourself that success = ‘making the effort’ (not how others react)
  • ‘not working’: be open to learn from previous experience and to learn from others
A final note: for us it’s not important to act on every good intention. But if it’s a really good one, we really recommend you using the steps above to rise up to the challenge!


Contact us if you want help in getting you and your team bring self or others to full potential.