How To Make A New Year's Resolution That Sets You Up For Success Not Failure
With a new year just around the corner, thoughts turn to the annual New Year’s Resolution.
The time of year where you reflect on the last 12 months and commit to changing certain aspects of your life, for the good.
What could be better than starting the year full of motivation, inspiration, and the mindset that THIS is going to be your year?
Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, live healthier, get that promotion, or simply be a better human, is there really a downside to this annual tradition?
Some will say YES.
For every person who religiously documents and plans their New Year’s Resolutions, there’s an equal number of naysayers. Actively mocking those who even so much as contemplate setting new goals.
Often trotting out an array of statistics to highlight your impending failure.
“Only 10% of people who set a New Year’s Resolution, achieve it.”
“50% of people who set a New Year’s Resolution, forget their commitment later in the year.”
So who’s right and who’s wrong?
Are your New Year’s Resolutions doomed from the outset? Is it best to carry on as you are and see where the New Year wind takes you?
And if you'd prefer to listen to the audio version of "Setting New Year's Resolutions Not Doomed For Failure", click the play button below.
The Reason Your New Resolution Failed
There are definite pros and cons to setting New Year’s Resolutions. And whether you decide to make personal commitments or not, there’s no right or wrong answer.
First, let’s look at why New Year’s Resolutions might have failed you in the past.
Your goal is short-sighted.
Undoubtedly, you’ll have health and fitness goals. After all, you wouldn’t be reading to this if you didn’t.
And that’s a great thing. Committing to be healthier and happier in your life, is positive. However, is the goal you’re setting going to deliver the results you want?
Take weight loss, for example.
You might set a target of losing 10kg.
It seems logical and sensible. And in your mind, it’ll give you a sense of achievement. Most of all, you believe it’ll make you happier.
But here’s the thing. Losing weight is not your goal.
“Huh? Yeah it is, Simon!”
Trust me. It’s not!
Losing body fat, and keeping it off for good is really what you’re trying to achieve. And you might think this is semantics. But semantics matter. Because the mindset needed to achieve sustainable fat loss is very different to one focused on losing weight as quickly as possible.
Adopting a short-term mindset is one reason your previous New Year’s Resolutions have failed.
Instead of building sustainable habits and creating positive lifestyle changes, you search for the quick fix and short-term solution.
Ultimately, by the middle of the year, you’ve been through the same dieting loop AGAIN! Just like you did last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.
So what’s the solution?
Well, it’s pretty simple… Create goals based on ACTION.
If your goal is to lose weight, create resolutions and goals that progress you towards this outcome.
It might be to go to the gym 3 times a week, monitor and control your calories, or limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Whatever the actions may be, they should be inching you closer to your goals.
So think beyond, “lose weight”. Think deeper. Think about what it will take to be successful. And make these your resolutions.
A Year Is A Long Time. Choose Your New Year's Resolution Wisely
You might think the years fly by. But to do something consistently for 365 days takes a monumental effort. And many people don’t take this into consideration when setting New Year’s Resolutions.
Giving up alcohol for a year, going to the gym 12 times a week, and getting up at 5am to do yoga every day, might feel achievable when you’re buoyed by January positivity. But when the realities of day-to-day life hit, your motivation drops quicker than a cheap hooker’s underwear.
And by the middle of the month, you hit the “FUCK IT” button and jettison your ambitions for the year in favour of old habits that put you back in your comfortable, happy place.
I won’t lie to you, change is hard.
It’s uncomfortable. And it’s going to take dogged tenacity to see it through.
So don’t make it any harder by setting yourself an impossible task from the outset.
When you sit down to scribe your New Year’s Resolutions, think long-term. Think about positive habits, behaviours, and goals that allow you to be consistent for 52, not 2, weeks of the year.
Are You The Type of Person Who Should Set A New Year's Resolution?
Whichever side of the New Year’s Resolution debate you’re on, just make sure your rationale is based on the right reasons. Otherwise you could be shooting yourself in the foot.
The type of person who thrives on making New Year’s Resolutions is one who:
- gets enthused by a jolt of motivation and inspiration.
- has the same goals year after year. They’re obviously important to you. It’s your approach that needs the attention.
- likes to get things done. Making lists and ticking boxes can be motivating. But don’t make the process of creating lists more important than achieving them.
Conversely, the character traits of someone who might not need to commit to resolutions is one who:
- already gets things done. If you’re a well-oiled, goal achieving machine all year round, why complicate things unnecessarily. Stick to what serves you well and reap the rewards.
- you’re an excuse seeker. Be honest. Are you someone who looks for any excuse when you fail to stick to a commitment? If you are, address your excuse-making tendencies BEFORE setting more resolutions. Because you’ll only end up hunting for more excuses.
The Bottom Line On Setting A New Year's Resolution
Even though some may mock the New Year’s Resolution, there’s something to be said for drawing a line in the sand and marking a new beginning.
However, you need to make sure your goals and commitments are considered and well thought through.
Hurriedly, scribbling down a few aimless goals on a scrap piece of paper on the 31st December may not serve you well for the year ahead. In fact, they may do more harm than good.
Feeling like a failure, a couple of weeks into the year is not the way to set yourself up for success.
Here’s a recap of how to make your New Year’s Resolutions a success.
- Commit to action goals centred around lifestyle and behaviour change.
- Think long-term. Can you make the changes stick for an entire year (and more)?
- Set fewer goals and add to them throughout the year. Get the ball rolling and use the positive momentum to your advantage.
- Don’t expect to achieve your goals without change. And don’t expect change to be easy. Be prepared for ups and downs. Create plans and solutions for when things don’t go your way.
What are your thoughts on setting New Year’s Resolutions? Has this article change your views or confirmed your existing beliefs? Let me know in the comments below.
Here's The Next Step In Achieving Your Fitness Goals
Setting New Year’s Resolutions may (or may not) be the first important step in helping you achieve your health and fitness goals in the new year. Either way, you need to consider the other pieces of the puzzle.
For example, creating an effective training programme to help maximise your time in the gym. Managing your nutrition in a way that suits your lifestyle while not being over-restrictive and unsustainable.
And keeping yourself consistent long enough to stay the course and see results.
If you're unsure about how to achieve these things, I might have something for you.
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But for now, all I’ll say is, thanks so much for reading, keep living the Lean Life. And I’ll see you soon.
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