New Year Resolutions: Why our plans fizzle out.


So, finally 2019 is here–sparkling and glittering with its newness, infusing us with hope and vigour to make it a success story. I am sure most of us have decided on some new resolutions and promised to stick to those and fulfil them by the end of the year. Right?

But, as we all are so aware, all those grand resolutions are going to fizzle out by the end of the second week of January, itself! Or, may be by the end of January. And, we will find ourselves back where we started…wondering why we failed to stick to our plans and questioning our tenacity. By February, we will vow to stick to our resolutions the next year, come what may!

But, do you think we will succeed in 2020, either? I bet not.

Why do you think this happens? Why do our grand plans fizzle out?

I think, it’s because we make resolutions that are too ambitious and grand to handle. Seldom do we assess ourselves, our capabilities and our limits before making those resolutions.

Someone, who might wish to reduce weight, might decide to stay off sweets, altogether; enrol at a gym and workout like crazy; follow a diet to get the figure they so wish.

Someone might decide to work towards that promotion they so seek and slog night and day.

And, someone else might decide to live a more fulfilling life where they spend more time with their families and discover themselves, follow their passions, because, well… YOLO! I mean, You Only Live Once! ( I was so unaware of the meaning of YOLO till sometime back!).

But, is it that easy?

Being strict with your diet, hitting the gym regularly….can all get frustrating after a while because you never know when Life might test your commitment. All of our best laid plans could fly right out the window!

Or, in our quest to reach ahead in the “race”, we would neglect our health, our sleep and our family and if things don’t go as we expect–which is what usually happens– we could very well end up depressed.

And, people who wish to live a more fulfilling life with their families and all, can definitely achieve it, provided they place their smartphones and other gadgets under lock and key once they are home. But, do you think you can resist the temptation of checking the notifications on the many social media platforms?

You might do it for a day or two, but then will just give in to the urge to grab that phone and forget all about discovering yourself.

So, all the enthusiasm with which we begin the new year starts to wane and our singleminded devotion towards fulfilling our resolutions begins to peter out. We do make a few feeble attempts at getting our mojo back, but in vain. And, soon, we fall into the rut we all were so used to earlier. Life takes over along with the uncertainties She brings our way and we realise we will never be able to win over Life and Her big plans!


This year, I decided to make a few goals to follow; goals that I haven’t labelled as “resolutions”; goals which would be doable and easy on me and my mind. After all that happened in my Life since 2017, all I need today is peace of mind. That’s all. I am not at all trying to be overly ambitious, or enthusiastic, or anything. All I am looking for is the elusive peace, and how to make it a part of my life, and thus these goals.

So, I jotted down a few things that I needed to make a part of my everyday life. Little things, really, like…

Simple, doable things that are sure to make me a stronger person, calm me during the tiresome, stressful moments and yes, build a solid support system that I so need.

Of course, it is not easy, for instance, to accept Life as it is, or believe in myself when things aren’t going my way. I am human, after all. But, being grateful for whatever I have is bound to change that and give me a fresh new perspective about my Life.

So, instead of coming up with resolutions we will never stick to, why not make smaller goals to work on on an everyday basis; goals that are easier to manage and do not burden us with expectations.

Here’s what you could do if you wish to fulfil your new year resolutions…


1. Take baby steps…make smaller goals that don’t tax your mind if you miss out once in a while. Remember, it’s okay to slip off the track once in a while.

2. Don’t be too strict with yourself as far as meeting your goals is concerned. I mean, suppose you decide to stay off sweets, then take it a day at a time and keep aside a day when you can cheat on your plan. Have a chocolate, or your favourite dessert–for the sake of your taste buds–and, then workout a bit extra the following day. But, then again, don’t overdo it. Bottom line is, care for your body, be considerate towards its limits.

3. If you wish to cut down on your smartphone use, set an alarm for 9 pm when you will switch off the WIFI and put the phone away. Do not switch it on as soon as you wake up. And, once you do switch on, time yourself. No more than 10 minutes to check whatever you wish to and as soon as your 10 minutes are up, switch it off again. Stay away from it for at least a couple of hours between every 10 minutes phone break you take.

4. If you have decided to exercise/workout everyday, do it in the morning beginning with just 15 minutes. After a week, increase it by 10 minutes. 25 – 30 minutes of exercise is more than enough. And, take a break on Sundays. Your body requires the rest.

5. Prepare a journal in which you note down your goals and how you manage to achieve them everyday. Be true to yourself. No cheating!

6. At the end of a week/ fortnight, if you find that you have been pretty consistent with working on your goals, reward yourself.

7. Remember to take life ONE DAY AT A TIME–this includes working on your goals, too!

8. And, finally, remember that you are NOT competing with anyone except yourself–your old self. So, don’t be a tyrant and drive yourself crazy over your goals. It will affect your mental health. And, if your mental health suffers, believe me, there’s no point working on any other aspect of your life.

So, what goals have you made for the new year? If you haven’t yet, I would suggest you give it a good thought, take everything into consideration and then decide what it is that you need to change. I am sure you will have a higher chance at succeeding at it!

Wish you the very best!

May you all have a happy, healthy and a peaceful New Year!

God bless!

Take care, coz I care…



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Setting tiny goals instead of resolutions helps us stay on course.






Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

49 thoughts on “New Year Resolutions: Why our plans fizzle out.

  1. I stopped making resolutions a long time ago, simply because I never followed them. Your post states all the reasons why I didn’t πŸ™‚
    I like the idea of having goals, instead of resolutions. Seems doable.
    My takeaway from this post:And, finally, remember that you are NOT competing with anyone except yourself–your old self.
    Helpful read, Shilpa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mayuri!
      Yes, it is one thing that rules the world today–competition. And, it is always this competition that robs us of our peace. It is high time we realised the fact that it is pointless trying to compete with others, but fruitful competing with oneself!


  2. True, resolutions almost always fail to stick. Last year even my word of the year didn’t work quire well. I, too, am following some goals to guide me in 2019. And I have decided to take it easy and not stress out if it fall apart. My most important goal of all is to reduce stress and appreciate myself. I have to find a way to measure the appreciation part.
    I loved your goals, it’s realistic and every one of them is going to help you and be a better you. As much as I want to make sleep a priority, right now I have to go with the flow and make do with whatever little sleep I’m getting.
    Wishing you a wonderful year ahead, Shilpa. Looking forward to reading a lot from you this year! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Going with the flow is the best that we can do, Vini….in fact, the only sensible thing to do! Planning and making resolutions that we will find hard to follow will only take its toll on our mental health.

      For me, last year, my sleep went to the dogs, and so did my peace of mind and my mental health. I was not taking care of myself in any way and it all took its toll on me by the end. So, this year, I decided to take it slow, make tiny changes in my everyday life that will help me feel better. For example, listening to music, especially while doing my daily chores and staying in touch with my close friends and cousins. It feels so good when I talk to someone everyday! So, by the end of the year, hopefully, I will be in a better space mentally.

      Take it slow and easy, Vini..and do whatever is possible. Don’t stress if things don’t work out–like if you aren’t able to blog/read/draw…just relax. Tell yourself not to fret over it as it is not the end of the world. I have begun doing this and believe me, it feels so so good!

      Take care, dear girl and wish you a wonderful and a peaceful new year!


  3. I don’t disagree with your approach, but you may also want to take a look at; research (and it’s not all that “new” either!) suggests that it’s not lack of commitment or discipline, but sharing of our goals – especially like your “be more grateful” and “be more independent” – that can derail us before we really get going. And ironically, the MORE committed we are, the worse we’re derailed. “Baby steps” (and specific milestones) are good, and are more in line with the idea of setting SMART goals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Holly, I will surely check it out.
      See, about my being grateful or emotionally independent –it all comes from all that I have been going through in the past so many years in life. All that went wrong taught me so much, left me feeling alone and miserable. And, that’s why, this year, I decided that I needed to be in touch with people, but at the same time, not depend on others for my happiness, make my own decisions and see where it takes me. And, yes, being grateful for every little thing comes naturally to me now and it does feel good! Yes, I am trying to stick to my tiny goals, but I am not driving myself crazy over staying committed to these, either. Actually, the goals I have made are really simple ones and don’t stress me out in any way….which is such a relief! πŸ˜›

      Wish you a very happy new year, Holly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome! And I wonder if we each have to hit a low point to have this epiphany: that we’re responsible for our own happiness. Period. Others can travel our journey with us, but are not responsible for our happiness, nor are we, for theirs. I think we have an obligation to ourselves to choose healthy relationships with people who don’t steal our joy (intentionally or unintentionally), and an obligation not to drag others down when we’re down (though if they choose to hunker down in a muddy bunker with us, because they love us, that’s their choice and it’s not our obligation to push them away, either!) We only get this one life (for SURE, that is – I still harbor secret fantasies about reincarnation, though not strictly in any religious sense – I just want another “E ticket” ride around the sun!) Happy new year!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in agreement with you on all of the above. The one change I’d suggest is to try forming habits instead of setting goals. The mindset changes considerably when we do things consistently rather than with an end goal in mind. For instance I started showering at 5 am every morning, some time in early December. There was no goal as such. Just wanted to be fresh in the morning πŸ™‚ And it’s working. Now I feel like showering the minute I wake up. Doesn’t matter if it’s 5 am or 6 am or 7 am. So like you say, small goals with habit building works way better than resolutions.

    Love the set of tiny goals you’ve set for yourself. All the best for a vibrant, healthy 2019,dear Shilpa πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fabulous one, Shy. Just what I was going to incorporate in my life. Though it’s freezing cold here, but so worth the feeling. But I have a question doesn’t it take a goal to turned into habit?


    2. Shailaja, I call these goals because I hadn’t been doing any of these in the past year. And, today, when I follow each of these, it leaves me feeling so so wonderful! Like, I reminded myself in the beginning of the week that I had to play the music…some songs to pep me up while I finished my morning chores that can be rather dull and boring. Now, in the past few days, it has become a habit! Similarly, staying in touch with my friends/cousins was something I wasn’t doing in the past year and when everything went wrong, I did not tell about it until later, for which I received quite an earful from almost everyone of them! SO, last week, I called up all those girls, told them about my goal of staying in touch with them on a weekly basis and they were so relieved…like, “Finally this girl realised!!” And, now, it has become a habit…I just pick up the phone and call my girls without thinking what if they are busy or am I bothering them. And, this feels so good! I enjoy daily conversations with people which was severely lacking until last year!
      And, thus, these goals that will soon become habits–habits for a lifetime…

      Umm…let me know when I can call you, too, by the way! Knowing your busy schedule, I don’t want to disturb you, but would love to talk once in a while, or whenever it is possible for you!

      Thanks so much, my dear girl, for sharing your thoughts!
      Wish you a wonderful new year!


    1. Oh yes, Pawan!!
      In fact, just couple days ago, I was thinking of asking you to make a playlist of good, English songs that I will understand, and which won’t be just ‘noise’.. Some meaningful lyrics and soothing tunes. How I forgot to mention it yesterday, I don’t know.

      So, whenever you do find the time, please work on that playlist. Thanks in advance! πŸ˜€


  5. I know all about fizzling out mid year. There are items still in my to do list that I had been procrastinating for long. You make excellent points. Specially in regards to setting smaller goals and conquering them. I learnt to do that in terms of fitness. Sometimes the goal can be as simple as going for a walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You hit the nail right on the head, Shilpa. Spot on with those goals. I’m doing something different this year. No resolutions, just sticking to simple tasks and deadlines for the day/week because I can’t see what the rest of the month will be like. Last year derailed all my plans. This year, just need to stay focused, eat well, sleep and exercise moderately. I really wish to go with the flow. Now, let’s see what life has in store for me in 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how true, Esha!
      Who knows what the next day will bring for you? Better to stay in the here and the now, go with the flow and stick to simple tasks that don’t hassle us if we fail to follow up on them.

      I sincerely hope this new year brings for you the peace of mind you so need!
      Love and tight hugs, dearie!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yup sticking to resolutions is pretty tough! I have also set mini goals for myself and am aiming to do little but to do it. My intention is to get that sense of achievement rather than letting down myself.

    Very well expressed post Shilpa.

    Wish you a blessed year ahead and I hope all your goals materialise into positive actions!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said, Shalz! The sense of achievement is much more precious than ticking off the resolutions from your list! The happiness is far greater, isn’t it?

      Wish you, too, a happy, healthy and a peaceful new year!


  8. No resolutions for me too this year. At least I’ve to written them down because like you said I’ve been making the same resolutions every year and not falling off the wagon by mid-year. That said I do have some things in mind and I’ll be working towards them. Saying them out just seems to jinx them – or perhaps that’s just one of my weird thoughts! I love your pointers about sticking to resolutions. Small steps, without pressure with focus on consistency should do it.
    I love your goals too. Simple and basic and yet so important for ones metal well-being.
    Have a great New Year Shilpa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s my mental health that I so need to care for, Tulika. I did suffer for the longest time and I feel these little things will help me feel better, at peace with myself and with Life..Also, these won’t stress me out!

      WIsh you a very happy new year, Tulika! I hope you are able to fulfil the little goals you have set out for yourself.


  9. Such a well articulated post, Shilpa!

    I’m way past resolutions too, they don’t make sense anymore. I think the whole point of celebrating a new year or having resolutions is now reduced to performance and peer pressure. We need to use this as a talking point on Social Media so people do it even if they don’t want to. This saddens me. One should be and feel free to do whatever they want to, especially on a new year.

    Goals make sense. Short-term or long term doesn’t matter, as long as you are going somewhere.

    I hate the word YOLO, sounds so crass in my opinion. Whatever happened to good old Carpe-Diem?

    Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2019, Shilpa. I’m sure you’ll work very hard on your goals and ace them ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Soumya…one should be able to do whatever one decides to do..also, there shouldn’t be this added pressure of seeing to it that the resolutions get fulfilled….as if one’s in a race, or something like that! πŸ™‚

      Wishing you too a very very happy new year, dear!
      Thank you so much for the love and the warmth!


  10. Those are great tips and definitely more effective than generalised resolutions. I have goals but they are brief and time-bound. Like for instance, I know I want to at least do two trips this year and I want to regrade as a senior psychologist. They are specific and time-bound as opposed to ‘lose weight’ which I have never succeeded as a resolution! Apart from that, I mainly have 3 intentions for the year to help guide me. Since two are based on my values, it shouldn’t be hard

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed easier on the mind to make such brief goals that we know we can at least manage to work on, or develop into habits. I hope and pray you are able to meet your goals, Sanch….In fact, I am sure you will! Just keep going!

      Lots of love!


  11. No resolutions for me either. I’ve never had them. I have narrowed down on focus areas this year, not much different from last year or any year not just a reiteration to myself to work actively in a particular direction. I liked your goals. They are small and definitely doable.

    Wish you a very Happy New year, dear Shilpa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Rachna….focus areas is what I can call my goals–things I need to focus on, develop into habits and find myself in a calmer space.

      Wish you, too, a happy new year, Rachna!


  12. I never make resolutions but I do create a wishlist for each year and try to work towards it. I try to form habits. I read somewhere that it takes 40days to form a habit, so these days whenever I start something I try to stick for 40days and in most cases, it actually turns into a habit. Great post as always Shilpa. And one thing I have been meaning to say since long, I have seen an amazing positive change in you in last one year. Keep up the glow dear. Love and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Balaka!
      Habits are what I too intend to develop from these goals…and, that’s why I chose these simple, manageable goals….Gives me that much more peace, reduces my stress and helps me sleep easy knowing that I am not in some competition with anybody, but only intend to find peace!
      Thanks a ton for the lovely words, Balaka! I so need such positive reinforcement from time to time so I that I am able to keep my self-esteem on the higher side!

      Love and hugs to you, too, B!


  13. Dear Shilpa,

    This is a terrific post. And I am at awe with your blogging and zentangling skills and productivity. It’s incredible how diligently you have written last year, and every post of yours has been so meaningful. It’s no mean surprise that you and your blog have grown organically in the process.

    2018 was a challenging year for me, and my blogging suffered due to innumerable reasons. I have set a few goals for my blog, and I am hoping to stay true to them. No resolutions per say. But simple tasks that need to be achieved over a period of time. And I’m going to try and break them further, so I can accommodate them day by day and week by week.

    I’ve realised planning each day and reviewing the week gone by works best. And right now I won’t have a choice but to do that as I’ve picked up work (fortunately out of home) and I can’t let my blog suffer anymore, so I’ll need to have a daily/weekly game plan. I’m glad I’m thinking aloud as I type this message. Thank you for your post and the comments here that are giving me further clarity.

    I liked working with the “word for the year” and I am this year as well. Last year my word was “nurture” and I think I went all the way out nurturing people, but neglected myself partially, and to some extent the DH and the ten year-old. Nurtured my older one to the hilt! :-)) This year I shall be focusing on my down time, and on nurturing my moments and myself. And those other two lifelines.

    Sorry if this post sounds like a ramble, but I’m so glad you post gave me fodder for thought.
    I was hoping to start blogging thrice starting this week, but the plans went out of the window, due to ill-health. I hope next week will be better.

    You have a healthy, happy, peaceful, calm, prosperous year, oozing with love, joy and hope.
    Big hugs ❀


    1. Hey, you don’t need to apologise for the ” rambling”, Natasha! But, all I would like to say, is don’t take too much pressure for fulfilling your goals….especially now that you are working, too. If on some day, you aren’t able to give any attention to your blog, fret not…You can do it the next day. Just take every day as it comes…let go of the little stressors and give importance to your health and your family….Your peace and mental health matter a whole lot more than you may think!

      Wishing you the very best for your work and your blogging and wish you a brilliant new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Some great suggestions Shilpa. Every year, I have same goal. To be healthy and lose some weight.. But, like you said, all is phuss after two weeks. But, the small step strategy looks achievable. Will try it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love the goals you have set for yourself, Shilpa. Simple, doable, and realistic. I also agree with your tips on sticking to your goals. I have only ever had success in reaching my goals when I have approached them in bite sized chunks, and given myself grace for failing at them every now and then. Progress not perfection, has helped me accomplish goals in the past. And so that is my mantra for 2019 too!

    Wishing you a wonderful 2019, filled with all the things that bring you peace and joy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Progress, and not perfection, is indeed the best mantra, Shantala! We often work ourselves too hard to meet our goals and lose our peace of mind in the process. We don’t realise that it’s okay to miss out on our goals once in a while, and we forget how much our bodies can handle. So, this year I am giving myself enough space and peace of mind by planning these simple things ….let’s see how well I do!

      Wish you too a wonderful new year!


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