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I'm Such a Failure - I've Already Broken All My New Year's Resolutions


It’s not that many weeks since New Year, but all those good resolutions have fallen by the wayside, and you’re back to square one.  Not only do you feel disappointed that you haven’t achieved the wonderful things that were going to change your life – you also feel rubbish about yourself.  Why are you such a no-hoper?  Why do you never manage to make those improvements?  Why are you so stuck, unhappy and let down?


Just stop right there!  Okay, so you haven’t done what you said you would, but there are reasons for this.  With a little more savvy and with a different approach your position will look very different.  But first you have to cut yourself some slack.




Don’t say ‘Because I’m weak-willed, hopeless, stupid…’ or any of that negative self-talk.  There will be good reasons why you didn’t keep those resolutions that have nothing to do with you being inadequate.  In fact you may even have set yourself up for this!

  • Maybe you made too many resolutions.  One or two are enough.  Trying to make too many changes at once just isn’t realistic
  • Perhaps you have made things more difficult for yourself than you need to.  Maybe a subconscious belief that you’re bound to fail has led you to create just that situation
  • Have you really been practical about your aims, or have you tried to rely on pure determination?  For instance, is there healthy food in your fridge or did you simply resolve to eat hardly anything?  Did you take out a subscription for a gym that’s just too far away to be convenient?  Did you decide to do something you really hate because it’s good for you?  Get real!
  • Are you surrounded by people who, for reasons of their own, are unsupportive, or who may want you to fail – maybe because they feel jealous or inferior?
  • Have you made resolutions because of pressure from someone else, when you don’t really feel committed?
  • Have there been extra pressures in your life over the last few weeks, such as work commitments, illness or relationship issues?

If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of the above, then it’s no surprise that your resolutions have gone haywire.  Time to pick things up and proceed in a different way.




That word ‘failure’ is part of negative self-talk that needs to stop if you are to get anywhere.  So your first resolution now must be to ban negative self-talk.  

Whenever you catch yourself criticising yourself or running yourself down, stop for a minute and make yourself remember three nice things about yourself, or three good achievements.  These could be simple things like ‘I made a lovely meal last night’ to bigger things like ‘I’ve got a good job’, ‘I’m a loving parent’ etc.  Say these to yourself three times, preferably aloud, stopping the critical stuff in its tracks.

Banning negative self-talk is a pleasant ‘resolution’.  You won’t need will-power, but you will need to remember and get into the habit.  Only when you are in the habit and are reasonably sure you’ve stopped all negative self-talk for a fortnight should you progress to making some new, more sensible resolutions.

As for ‘failure’ itself, it’s a nasty, unhelpful word, much better replaced by ‘work in progress’.  Every successful person in the whole wide world has fallen short of their aims many times, and some have messed up totally.  But instead of beating themselves up, they’ve kept on keeping on and they’ve had faith in themselves, until eventually success has been achieved.

You also can be successful, and feel good about yourself.




Once you are in the habit of being kind and supportive to yourself, you can choose some goals to aim for.  Remember these points:

  • If something hasn’t worked for you in the past, be sure you understand why this has happened, and change your approach accordingly.  It isn’t enough to say ‘I’ll have more will-power this time’ without being sure how you’re going to boost it
  • Choose only one major change at a time.  It’s okay to have two or three smaller goals, but make sure these are readily achievable
  • Break your goals up into stages.  ‘I’ll write my novel’ ‘I’ll lose two stone’ are too daunting.  Choose instead ‘This week I will write 1,000 words’ and ‘Today I will eat healthily’
  • Always plan and prepare, to make things easier
  • Get help – a supportive friend on a similar path is invaluable
  • Congratulate yourself and give yourself little rewards for your achievements
  • Enlist your imagination – which is much more powerful than your will – to help you get there.  Do this by regularly visualising success and everything connected with it
  • Don’t tell people about your resolutions unless you really, truly can trust them not to undermine you in any way.  Remember even people who have your best interests at heart can have mixed motives




In this article we have looked at why those resolutions fell by the wayside, banishing negative self-talk and moving forwards with new resolutions.  It is natural to feel disappointed in yourself at times – life’s like that.  But if you follow these tips and keep trying you will win through in the end!


PUBLISHED: 2 February 2016

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