5 Things to Remember When Failure Is at Your Door

door with writing that says work in progress

Hello, February 1st. You came WAY too quickly. I didn’t even get the chance to think about my New Year’s Resolution yet and we’re apparently 1/12 done with the year.


Are you in the same boat? I wouldn’t be surprised if you are. According to U.S. News, 80% of us will have failed at our New Year’s Resolution by the second week of February. This is a sad statistic! However, today I want to take a different approach. I believe it’s important to know how Heavenly Father feels about not achieving our goals and what to do now.

Failure is normal.

You are not the first person to fail at something. In fact, this has been happening for a very long time. Adam and Eve were told not to partake of the forbidden fruit, but they slipped up. Of course, there were consequences for their actions, but can you imagine what the world might be like if they had never made that mistake? The purpose of life is to learn from failure. I find great comfort in knowing that growth and happiness always come after falling, whether in this life or the next. 

“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” ~2 Nephi 2:25.

Forgive yourself.

woman overcoming failure

The most important thing to remember when you have broken a New Year’s Resolution is to not beat yourself up. You are human. Learning to forgive yourself is crucial. Only once you let go of the failure can you and move on.

Howard W Hunter said:

It has always struck me as being sad that those among us who would not think of reprimanding our neighbor, much less a total stranger, for mistakes that have been made or weaknesses that might be evident, will nevertheless be cruel and unforgiving to themselves.

When the scriptures say to judge righteously, that means with fairness and compassion and charity. That’s how we must judge ourselves. We need to be patient and forgiving of ourselves, just as we must be patient and forgiving of others.

I love these thoughts. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it!

Related: Suck It Up and Forgive Yourself Already

Take it one step at a time.

Once you have learned to forgive yourself, you can take your next steps. Be sure to keep them small. We cannot all become brand new people overnight. Change takes time! Set smaller, more attainable goals while keeping your big goal in mind. Baby steps are key to finding more success and happiness in our New Year’s Resolutions. 

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” ~Alma 37:6.

Failure will probably happen again.

You aren’t going to be perfect the first time and most likely won’t be perfect the second or third time either. I love this quote from Elder Dale G. Renlund:

God cares a whole lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were. He cares that we keep on trying.

Heavenly Father knows we aren’t perfect. All He needs is effort. So keep improving, keep trying, and see success over time.

Christ knows you.

Photo of Jesus Christ hugging a man.

Finally, focus on the Savior. He came to this earth to atone for your mistakes. He knows exactly how you feel, exactly what you want, and exactly how to achieve your goals. Through prayer and study, the Spirit will teach you what steps to take. Lean on the gospel and make Jesus Christ your foundation while striving to improve. He cares about your goals (even the “stupid” ones). He wants to help.

Related: 9 Church-Related New Year Resolutions Worth Keeping

How are you going to refresh your New Year’s Resolutions by taking things one step at a time? Let us know in the comments below!

Brooklyn Gittins is an enthusiastic member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has written for food and lifestyle blogs but is currently sharpening her skills as a writing intern for Third Hour. She enjoys spending time with her husband, petting dogs, and eating buttered noodles.