Why Only 8% of People Achieve Their Goals, According to Research

They don’t ask themselves the right questions.

Max Phillips
Ascent Publication
Published in
8 min readSep 14, 2020


Image by ijmaki from Pixabay

Research from the University of Scranton shows that only 8% of people fulfil their New Years' resolutions.

Goals need focus and direction. You can’t just blindly set a goal and hope for the best. Nor can you merely hope they will cause your success. They need to act as a starting point.

If you want to be successful, you need to achieve your goals — the right ones. To get it correct, you must ask yourself some questions:

Is Your Goal Truly Your Own?

The other day, I watched Inception for the fourth time. As you may know, the idea of “inception” is to go inside someone’s dreams and implant an idea, but it has to be of their own making — not from someone else.

Think about it. If I said to you a few days ago “we should go to McDonald’s,” that idea will have festered in your brain until you eventually suggest it — it isn’t unique.

An idea, the film says, spreads like cancer. The problem with goal setting is throughout your younger life; you are impressionable. You don’t know which goals to have, so you set them based on your parents, teachers, and anyone else with more life experience.

I wanted to be an athlete when I was 11 because I liked watching Usain Bolt on TV, and everyone around me had given me confidence in my abilities. Suffice to say, the desire soon waned.

In Inception, the team need the son of a dying energy conglomerate CEO to decide to break up his empire, but of his own accord. Spoiler alert: they do it by getting the son to believe that his father was disappointed in him for being like him — not just disappointed as he had first thought.

A goal needs to be a result of your decisions. Sure, Inception was all about planting an idea in someone’s mind and making it look like their own, but your life isn’t a sci-fi movie. Ask yourself if your current goal is exclusively yours, not forced upon you.

Is It Just for Show?

92% of people don’t achieve their New Year’s resolutions.



Max Phillips
Ascent Publication

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