Why Most New Year's Resolutions Fail

exercise fitness health new year routine workout Jan 23, 2023

Did Your New Year's Resolution Look Something Like the Picture Below?

If so, are you still sticking to it? If not, do you know why? 

The New Year can often be looked at as a great re-start. An opportunity to set new goals, cultivate new habits, and become your best self. But, it's also important to remember that this is approached in a healthy and sustainable way. Often, BIG 360 changes are sought out, and that's why most New Year's Resolutions fail. According to Forbes, 80% have ditched their New Year's Resolutions by February 1st. So, why does this happen? 

Let's explore some common reasons these fail, and how you can work to build healthy and sustainable habits:

  • #1 - The goals are too big! 
    • It's great to want to set big audacious goals. The issue is that these can backfire. If you are attempting to engage in healthy habits that you have never done before, you are essentially adopting a new lifestyle between December 31st and January 1st. That's a HUGE change!
    • So, what can you do instead? START SMALL! Instead of deciding you need to bring your lunch to work, walk 10,000 steps (which you don't actually need), exercise after work, go to therapy, make a smoothie in the morning, and cut out all sugar, pick a couple of those to engage in a non-restrictive manner. 
      • So, if the goal is to be more active. 10 minutes count! If you aren't exercising at all, going from that to an hour is a bit much. It is so much better to start small and build from there as opposed to going "all in", then burning out and quitting altogether. Remember, you can only benefit from your healthy habits if you engage in them consistently. 10 minutes can turn into 30 pretty quickly! But, deciding you have to go to the gym every day after work for an hour and getting burned out and maybe even injured from lack of conditioning is a lot harder to recover from.
  • #2 - The goals are not realistic
    • If you know you only have 15 minutes between the time you get off work and the time you need to get an evening engagement, then planning to exercise in the evenings probably is not the best idea. Maybe you could look at during lunchtime, adjust your sleep schedule so the mornings are an option, or incorporate exercise throughout your day. If your goals are not realistic in your life, then it is going to be an incredible challenge to even have a shot at sticking with them. 
  • #3 - You do not enjoy the set goals
    • Imagine you hate running (or maybe it does not take much creative thought!), but you have heard it is such great cardio that you should include it in your exercise routine. So, you give it a shot once or twice, but because you do not enjoy it, you quit. If you do not enjoy a healthy habit, you are unlikely to stick with it. Ballet, Zumba, Walking, a kitchen dance party, stair stepping, and so many other forms of movement are also great forms of cardio. Often, there are many ways to accomplish the same goal! So, pick the one you enjoy. 

Did your New Year's Resolution fit into one of those categories? I truly applaud you for wanting to develop a healthier lifestyle, just ensure it is also realistic and sustainable. You can get to the point of exercising regularly, including more fruits and veggies, drinking water, and doing all the things you would like to. It is just not going to happen overnight because it is a new year. Instead, consider focusing on just one goal at a time and having the knowledge and time to achieve it. 

So, instead of looking to set a New Year's Resolution, consider how you could maybe consider adopting healthy habits for a lifetime. Not a 30-day challenge, but for life. If you can focus on that with forms of movement, foods, and hobbies that you actually enjoy, you can have a blast through the process!


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Rooting for you always,