Hey there! This is TOP episode 125. 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

My name’s Ola and I am an English teacher. My goal is to help you start speaking English with confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. I believe it is achievable for you and it’s time you started speaking English fearlessly! Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning! 

Welcome back to my podcast! Let’s deal with the reasons why you can’t make your New Year’s Resolutions Stick. Let’s change it. Let’s get those goals met. One thing. New Year’s Resolutions can be set any time throughout the year. I don’t see why not. It’s just a date. Of course, it’s a new beginning, it’s a fresh start, it’s symbolic and stuff, but honestly. Every day is a fresh start. Don’t wait till the end of December to reflect back on your past and to set new plans. Today we’re looking at 5 reasons why your plans don’t get fulfilled, and how to avoid that. Before we jump in. 

If you feel like you wanna support my work please tell somebody about the Teacher Ola Podcast and share this episode somewhere on your social media platforms if possible. Become a member of TOPeople, receive worksheets right into your inbox. Go to teacherola.com/newsletter. 

Go to my shop and buy my products. That also supports Teacher Ola Podcast. I have prepared Worksheet Sets, which come with a great tool I created and called ‘Speaking English Planner’. It’s gonna help you plan and monitor your daily habit of speaking English out loud. Visit teacherola.com. Thank you. Let’s now take a closer look at 5 reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t stick.

Number one. Vagueness. Ok, so here we go. Pretty basic mistake but let’s start with something easy. Something you can get rid of in seconds. 

Listen if you plan to read more, make it more precise. I plan to read 20 books this year. See? That’s energy! You get more of that if you add more precision to your ideas and plans. Where energy goes, energy flows. So reading more is way too vague. In other words, not precise enough. So, go back to your goal and make sure it’s precise. 

Well, it doesn’t have to necessarily be measurable but let’s create something that is monitorable. I don’t think that word exists, don’t learn from me. Still, you know what I mean. It’s all about easy, everyday tiny actions you are going to be doing each day for the next year. It must be something you can tick, you can monitor. I want a better life. How vague and utterly not doable is that? What does it mean? Do you even know what you want? 

Sit down, take a piece of paper and make a freaking list of your dreams. No matter how big, just list them. Is it maybe, just maybe speaking English fluently? Not bad, but now sit and think what does it mean exactly. What practical skills do you need to work on in order to achieve that quite vague goal? 

Listen, don’t think that much about goals. I’ve been telling this for a while. Goals are not of paramount importance. What is, is rather your belief in you. Make a promise, and keep it. It’s a promise you give to yourself, isn’t that worth keeping? Don’t focus on your goal, focus on your everyday work. On keeping the promise. Write it somewhere. On the front page in your brand new calendar. If the word you give to yourself means anything to you, for the love of God, keep it.

Number two. Overconfidence. Ok, so on New Year’s Eve we are all a bit overexcited, overstimulated, we’re overreacting. We’re wearing rose gold glasses. 

I will lose soo much weight, I’ll travel the world, I’ll get the best job ever, I’ll get my shit together, I’ll settle down, I’ll get more serious, I’ll focus on my family, I’ll read tons of books, I’ll quit smoking and drinking, I’ll be a better friend, I’ll do it all, I’ll go to the gym 7 times a week, anyone can do it! Right? Right?  

No, not right. Quite wrong. Ok, so what makes you think that you can go to the gym 7 times a week? What on Earth? In order to avoid that please put your but on a chair, or on a sofa or whatever and think. Think realistically, clearly. What do you really wanna change? What needs improvement? What needs to be eliminated? What should be done less frequently? 

Be honest, make plans. Take a clean sheet of paper and work with your dreams. And for God’s sake! Don’t make promises you can’t keep. The words you’re telling yourself are the most important ones. Don’t lie to yourself. If you make a spontaneous New Year Resolution at 11 pm on New Year’s Eve, don’t expect much. 

Number three. Lack of planning. This is connected with the first point.  Vagueness. It is different though. It differs because in the first point we discussed how you need to set your resolutions. How to vocalise them. Now we’re ought to set up a plan. It’s a big project! It’s gonna last one whole year! How to achieve that fluency? If that’s your promise. 

Well, speak to yourself out loud every day. Decide that in March you will talk to someone in English. You will step out of that comfort zone. Promise yourself that by June you will have watched one season of a tv series in English and you will have talked about each episode to your partner or your friend or your teacher. 

There are so many things you can do to improve your speaking skills. Guess what, I have a whole podcast about it! Check out episodes about learning English with music, about shadowing, about talking to yourself (episodes 3, 25, 9). Tune in to episodes 76 and 80 cause they deal with planning your work, your daily, 10-minute work with this very podcast. But! It doesn’t matter. Your goal may be far away from languages. It always applies. Be creative. Make a list of actionable steps, milestones, things you gotta do in each quarter. Set up a plan. 

Number four. Lack of readiness. It’s a big one. A bit philosophical, but this is a core reason why your New Year’s Resolutions will not work. I’m deadly serious. Lack of readiness. 

Firstly. What for? What is this resolution for? What exactly is in it for you? What to you want to achieve? You wanna speak English fluently, but what for? For a new job? For your kids who live abroad? For travel? What for? Ask yourself these questions because if you have a clear precise reason you won’t get wobbly on the way. In March, in September. You’ll be clear on what you’re doing. 

Secondly. Are you really ready for the change? Have you factored in that there will be lots of bad days? You’ll get distracted, you’ll lose motivation and you’ll lose it fast. Do you understand that you’ll get bored with that goal? Are you ready to soldier on through those days? Are you ready to beat your own laziness? Do you embrace the fact that there will be more bad days than good ones? 

The solution is being ready. Being aware of the fact that the way to a real change is hard. Another word you should embrace is discipline. Don’t let go, be consistent. You know that ‘consistency’ is the keyword for me. On my example. Because I did the work earlier. I decided, consciously decided to run this podcast. 

So no matter how I feel, how demotivated I am, how bored, how tired, how busy I record an episode every week. I don’t always feel like recording, but that doesn’t matter that much if I know what I want. I know I want to run this podcast. So I do it. Come rain or shine. Is it easy? No, it’s not. Do I do it? Yes, I do. 

Number five. Short memory. That one? Easy. Take your calendar and write your resolutions down. Monitor your progress. When you’re planning your actions for the year, your milestones, write them in the calendar. Go to March, write a goal. Go to June and do the same. Make sure you won’t forget. 

You can set reminders on the phone. On your Google Calendar. You can ask your friend to help you out. Ask them to check up on your progress. This adds a bit of a pressure but it’s a good tool. You obviously don’t need it, but it might help. You know yourself best so pick whatever works for you. If you need an accountability partner then have one. 

Here you have it. 5 reasons why our New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. Let’s have them listed again. 

Number one. Vagueness. Number two. Overconfidence. Number three. Lack of planning. Number four. Lack of readiness. Number five. Short memory.

Now. Practice. Listen to the sentences and repeat them out loud. I an hear ya! Don’t cheat! Say the sentences out loud. 

Something you can get rid of in seconds. 

Do you even know what you want? 

If the word you give to yourself means anything to you, for the love of God, keep it.

What should be done less frequently? 

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. 

The words you’re telling yourself are the most important ones. 

Make a list of actionable steps, milestones, things you gotta do in each quarter. 

Ask yourself these questions because if you have a clear precise reason you won’t get wobbly on the way. 

Have you factored in that there will be lots of bad days? 

Are you ready to soldier on through those days?

So I do it. Come rain or shine.

Ask them to check up on your progress. 

Good job! Now, download the worksheet I’ve sent you today and complete the worksheet with translations. If you’re not a member of TOPeople download the worksheet at teacherola.com/125 and become one. It’s free.  

If you’re willing to start from scratch and have everything in one place with the answer key, QR codes, pdf document with editable fields and Speaking English Planner buy a Worksheet Set. It’s available at teacherola.com.

If you find this episode useful, tell your friends about this podcast and thank you so much for doing so!

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know. What are your New Year’s resolutions? 

Last but not least, have a good year. I hope 2022 is gonna be your year. I wish you that. Win this year! 

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next Wednesday! We’re going to leanr some English with music. Be here next week!  Happy learning. Take care! Stay fearless and say it out loud! Bye!