Why Your Resolutions Always Fail, and How to Make One That Won’t

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About 60% of the country is making New Year’s Resolutions right now. But research shows that eleven out of every twelve resolutions will fail. And many never get started with any progress at all.

At Vocatio, we think you should resolve this year to get the perfect job or internship, and we’d love to be a part of helping you do it. But no matter your goals, here are a couple quick research-tested tips to make them more likely to be successful.

  1. Ramp up gradually
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    Changing behavior is hard. We’re creatures of habit. Start gradual. If you’re trying to start a new behavior or habit, don’t try to go 0 to 100. Start with meager and realistic steps and slowly work your way up to something more ambitious after a couple weeks of getting used to your new habits.


  2. Tell your friends
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    If you’re the only one holding you accountable, or the only one who even knows about the resolution, it’s easy to make excuses and rationalize failure. Telling those around you about your goals, and offering to check in with each other on progress, has been shown to make you more likely to follow through.


  3. Be specific
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    Goals like “Go to the gym more,” “Eat healthier,” or “Be more active in my career search” are too vague and hard to quantify, and therefore hard to action. Goals must be quantifiable and measurable, and be planned out in small steps so that each day/week is a clear success or failure and there’s no ambiguity.

    1. Better alternatives for the above examples would be “Go to the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays before work,” “Eat salad for lunch 3x a week and no more than 2x/month fast food,” and “Spend 20 minutes each morning researching a new career, industry, or company.

  4. Focus
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    Rather than thinking of a million things you could do differently in your life and resolving to change all of them, pick one or two areas to focus on, so that you can clearly focus on what it will take to make it happen. Make a game plan for success, with clear steps and micro-goals along the way that can be easily tracked.Follow these tips and you can crush it like this kid in ’17.

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Matt Gwin
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