4 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail

December 28, 2020

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, humans across the globe will set New Year’s resolutions with the hopes of 2021 being their best year yet.

While we love the energy that resolutions bring, we also know a large percentage of those hopes will be crushed and gone before February even begins.

We know you’ve been there. Us too.

But resolutions don’t have to have such a grim outcome. Of course, we’d love to offer a friendly reminder that you can set goals and make changes any time of the year, but if you’re excited about the idea of a clean slate that can come with January 1st, we’re here to cheer you on!

So in the spirit of making 2021 a roaring success, here are four of the most common reasons New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to set better intentions so yours don’t!).

1. You Get Caught Up in the Hype of Creating New Year’s Resolutions

Your co-worker is already chatting about an office weight loss contest, your mother-in-law texted enthusiastically about her new exercise routine, and your BFF from 6th grade invited you to follow her “healthy eating” Instagram account. You haven’t spoken to her in at least 15 years, but that’s besides the point. Her excitement has got you all jazzed too!

FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, but before you jump in on someone else’s “new year, new you” plan and add it to your own New Year’s resolutions, press pause.

Do you share the goal? Are you excited about the process? Are you making changes based on a date on the calendar, and is this actually a good time for you?

Before you hop on the bandwagon, stop and consider if you’re getting tunnel vision on the result you want.

Improving your fitness or losing some weight in 2021 is certainly possible, but people will choose any number of different methods that may (or may not) work for their lives.

What’s realistic, sustainable, or enjoyable for Suzie Co-worker’s weight loss plan may not be for you!

2. You Don’t Enjoy the “How”

Speaking of “how…” Do your New Year’s resolutions sound something like:

  • I’m going to lose 20 pounds!
  • I’m going to exercise more!
  • This year I’m going to eat better!

If they do, you’re not alone.

Many people create goals based on the outcome they want. While it can be helpful to know where you’re headed, it doesn’t help you answer how you’re going to get there.

It’s like setting out on a journey without a map. It’s easy to get lost along the way.

We encourage our Balance365 members to dive deeper, first thinking about the systems and behaviors needed to get to their goal.

Instead of the vague “l’m going to lose weight this year,” ask yourself, “how will I do that? What behavior changes am I willing to make? How does a person who’s lost weight and kept it off live their life? How do they treat themselves?”

Setting specific goals around the behaviors needed – not just the outcome you want – is sure to leave you feeling crystal clear on how to get there.

The map is the most important part of your journey!

3. You’re Treating a Marathon Like a Sprint

Many resolution-makers go to sleep on December 31st expecting to wake up a completely different person on January 1st. No more sleeping in, no more processed foods, no more wine, and the oreos are in the trash.

Hello “eating clean” and high-intensity workouts. New year, new you!

You’ve been there? Yeah, us too.

As you might be well-aware by now, this can work for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks… But most New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned before spring hits.

There’s a great quote I once heard from a coach, “you can go hard or you can go long, but you can’t do both.”

If you want changes that last, they can’t cost you your sanity and quality of life.

Change is a process, and most people would benefit from slowing down. Instead of overhauling your habits overnight, pick a few key behaviors to address. Once you’re feeling confident with those changes, move onto the next.

Beyonce wasn’t built in a day, and neither will you be.

4. You Rely on Motivation

Motivation is a feeling and we know that feelings ebb and flow, rise and fall.

Eventually the “new and shiny” of your resolution will wane and you’ll be left struggling to find the motivation to keep going.

Having an abundance of motivation can be a great catalyst for change and may have been what got you inspired to achieve your New Year’s resolutions, but it’s totally normal and expected for it to drop or vanish completely.

The solution for pursuing change even when you don’t feel motivated is to pursue small habit changes – so small you don’t need to rely on motivation to make it happen.

And now I’m going to introduce you to some real magic: how do you create motivation?

Most people believe that motivation leads to action. But action can also spark motivation. Think of all the times you’ve committed to just loading the dishwasher, and that leads to cleaning the whole kitchen.

In other words, small actions can spark motivation which in turn, leads to more action. So on the days you’re just not feeling like doing the thing you committed to, try to do something.

Nail Your New Year’s Resolutions, One Step at a Time

At Balance365, our mission is to help women lose weight in a healthy way, without dieting or destroying their relationship with food. If you’re ready for a change in 2021 and want support and accountability for getting there, get on the waitlist for our coaching program. We’re going to be enrolling a small number of new members on January 7th and we’d love for one of those women to be you!