In January, most of us will make New Year’s resolutions with the best intentions. We have the hope of making a better version of ourselves, changing things we are not happy about or to just have a better year this time around the sun.
It is very common that only a few people can carry out their resolutions for the full 365 days.
We have all been there, myself included.
This does not need to be everyone's reality. There are specific steps you can take to ensure you stick to your fitness New Year’s resolutions.
What Are New Year’s Resolutions?
The definition of resolution is ‘a firm decision to do something. So by definition, a resolution is a firm decision, it is definite and rigid, and once you set it, you need to stick to it. I prefer to set New Year’s goals because the definition of a goal is ‘the object of a person's ambition or effort’. Since a goal is the aim of a desired result it requires intention and takes planning, preparation and realistic action to achieve. I’d like to emphasize the word ‘realistic’. Making sure your goals are realistic will be insurmountable if you make the effort to achieve them, which often will affect your overall mood to be more positive.
Why You Might Fail Your New Year’s Resolutions
Some of you might be wondering why New Year’s Resolutions fail so often. There are a plethora of reasons why a person’s resolution might fail which are very specific to each person independently. Here are the five most common reasons of resolution failure.
1. We Feel Obligated To Set Resolutions - Everyone Is Doing It
Making New Year's resolutions is the thing everyone does at the start of a new year. It has become just as common in conversation as saying what you're thankful for during Thanksgiving. Therefore people feel required to do it or just feel that they should. I mean it helps right? The problem with this is if we truly don’t want to do something, especially a New Year’s resolution, which is a definite intent, the chances are that we won’t fully commit and follow-through.
2. The Novelty Wears Off Quick
Even if we want to set a New Year’s resolution and make a change, we are all hyped for it in January especially after overindulging in December and feeling out of routine from all of the holiday festivities. As we progress through January though we get back to a routine, back to reality and life evolves. By the time February rolls around we are not half as focused or determined and by the time Valentine’s Day hits the resolution hype has died off and our priorities take a shift. The novelty has well and truly run its course.
3. Unrealistic Expectations - Way Too High
Remember a resolution is a definite decision we either do it, or we don’t. As a result, for a resolution to be successful we need to choose to do or not to do something realistic that we can actually stick to. Making a New Year’s resolution to lose 200 pounds in the year is not realistic if you have failed that resolution for the previous five years. Also losing 200 pounds is a goal, not a resolution as you can’t just decide to lose 200 pounds. It is an aim or desired result and a lot goes into achieving it.
4. Resolutions Are Usually Too Vague
Since a resolution is a firm decision to do something, you need to be specific in what you're deciding to do. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you are planning your resolutions.
How will you know that you have been successful?
Is this resolution for life?
Do you believe you can do it?
Do you know, truly know why you want to do it?
What will it mean or how will it affect you if you fail?
5. Lack of Willpower
It is all well and good to make a New Year’s resolution but do you have the willpower to follow through and stick to it? Are you approaching this with your full self, or because you feel obliged to or do you already know you are not going to follow through before you begin? If you feel that you are not determined enough or don’t have the will and desire to follow through then maybe your resolution should be not to make resolutions or make a goal to work on and improve your willpower before you try again.
What Is The Result Of Failing?
Most people approach their resolution with a very laissez-faire attitude, I mean if you fail, so what, life goes on, right? Well, this is not the case and creating a New Year's resolution, and failing can have a negative effect on your self-confidence, will power, self-belief, motivation and undermine your belief that you can follow through on anything. You are making a firm decision to yourself that you’re going to do something and then to not do it could be harmful to your mental and/or physical health, not to mention the mental pressure and physical drain you are putting on yourself to try and achieve it in the first place. Not making one is better for you and more relaxing than making one and failing.
How to Keep Our New Year’s Fitness Resolutions
You made your resolution for a reason! You are determined and committed to yourself and this resolution. You are committed that you are going to follow through no matter what! So how do you stick to it? Here’s seven tips on how to keep your resolution.
1. Don’t Make A Resolution
It may sound counter-intuitive, but a fitness new year’s resolution may be too restrictive or you're just not ready to make one and that’s ok. Don’t feel obliged to make one, you don’t have to, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t! When I look at or talk to people about their Fitness New Year’s Resolutions, the first thing I notice is that people set goals and not resolutions. They believe that they are one and the same and somewhere along the way the lines have been blurred. I also find that the pressure people apply to themselves when it is a fitness new year’s resolution as opposed to a goal is dramatically higher. It feels more definite and serious. When it comes to fitness and fitness new year’s resolutions, I believe that you shouldn’t make a fitness new year’s resolution you should make new year fitness goals instead. There is a specific achievement, a structured approach, they change as you progress and are easier to manage.
2. Know Your Why
I have said it before, and I will keep saying knowing why you do anything and more than that but digging down deep and understanding what is attached to that emotionally will supercharge any desire you have.
3. Get Organized
Now that you know what success looks like and you have a structured plan, you need to get organized. What do you need to implement, change, purchase, eliminate or apply to set yourself up for success? You can’t just make a fitness resolution and expect yourself to stick to it! I mean this is something you want to change because up to now you haven’t been able to. There are going to be other things you need to put in place to make this resolution a reality. Why not combine goals with your resolution. Build a foundation for your resolution by creating several short-term goals along the way that will ensure your resolution succeeds.
4. Make it Performance Based
I hate to admit it, but fitness New Year’s resolutions are, in essence, selfish. Nine times out of ten they are appearance-based and even when they’re not it is usually the end result and if that’s what you want that is fine. The big problem I see with this is people’s perception of what is achievable, and how they can actually look.
5. Create Accountability
You do not have to go it alone, and in fact, to stick to your fitness New Year’s resolution, you shouldn’t go it alone. Make yourself accountable by telling people your fitness new year’s resolution. Put it out there, or join a group of individuals who are all on the same path or have similar resolutions and create a support group.
6. Congratulate Yourself
You are creating a resolution because there is something you want to achieve, and you now know why. Every little step you take on the way to success is a milestone that needs to be congratulated. Even if it is just a case of acknowledging it and feeling proud, the most critical part is actually to recognize everything you are accomplishing. Remember 80% will fail but not you, you are going to make this stick and congratulate yourself along the way.
7. Don’t Give Up
To achieve anything, you need to remain focused. Focus on what needs to be done. Visualize the result as if you have already achieved it. Create a plan and write it down. Do whatever it takes, or whatever works for you to keep your eyes on the prize but above all, until you have stuck to your resolution and achieved success keep focused, follow the plan and do not give up until you do!
My New Year’s Goals
I am one of those people that never finished my New Year’s Resolutions, which is why this year I have New Year’s Goals. My top three goals this year are to set up and play nine square, walk my dog, and volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House. Don’t forget that your goals need to be specific so let me tell you all the details for these three goals.
For this goal I want to set up and play nine square as many times as possible, but not just with my friends and/or family. I want to play with as many strangers as possible. Which just might help others meet their New Year’s goals as well.
2. Walk My Dog
Of course I already take my dog outside a minimum of two times a day, but for my New Year’s goal I want to take him on at least one long walk a day. This will not only help me with my fitness goals, but will also improve my dog's health both mentally and physically.
Volunteering is always a good way to spread joy and positivity. My goal is to volunteer at the Ronald Mcdonald House as many times as possible. I would like to sign up for their Adopt-A-Meal program as many times as I can afford to supply the meals.
What Are Your Goals?
Now that I have explained just what exactly a New Year’s Resolution is and how making a New Year’s Goal might be a better choice as well as sharing some of my goals, I’d like to know yours.