A Resolution is Not Enough for a Healthy New Year

As someone who helps people achieve their wellness goals, I have a real problem with New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not that I want people to stop making resolutions, but to achieve our goals most of us need a better strategy.

First, let’s look at the reasons most of us feel compelled to declare a resolution for the new year:

  • The new year feels like an opportunity for a fresh start.
  • Waiting for the new year can provide an excuse for not already having accomplished our goals.
  • Tradition.

That said, we should remember that every day is a new opportunity to do better and make smarter choices. It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a New Year’s resolution, it can be the next meal or snack or the next hour.

Failure Despite Good Intentions

With our current obesity crisis, it’s no surprise that a top resolution people make is to lose weight, but did you know that 70 percent of New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first week?

I think it’s because people are so hard on themselves and set the bar too high. When this is the case, resolutions are easily broken, because at the time, success seems like the only option.

Instead of making outrageous resolutions, be realistic and make a plan that is achievable with your current lifestyle. Change is not easy, so think about the following things:

  • What is your goal?
  • Why is that your goal?
  • What tools do you need to accomplish your goal?

For example, if you are trying to lose weight, that is your what. Why? Because you want to be healthy for the long term, but for the mid-term you want to be fit and feel great about yourself.  Lastly, what tools do you need? A healthier diet and increased activity, basically move more and eat less.  Remember to be realistic.

What are your resolutions this year? We would love to hear them in the comments.

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Photo credit: steve cole images

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  1. Right on, Grace. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head by saying that New Year’s resolutions are often made out of “tradition”. That rarely will lead to success. A resolution needs to be a conscious, deliberate and sincere choice. It needs to be backed up with goals that support the resolution. Those goals need to be backed up with a plan for achieving them and for celebrating “successes” along the way. But, the very first thing I ask every client is…”what’s your motivation for wanting to achieve your goal?” The more specific the motivation, the better the chance of success.

    1. Hi Steve and Happy New Year! I am glad you agree. I think that traditions can be a wonderful thing, but in this case we are hoping the tradition is a celebration of successes, like you mentioned. I love that…”celebrating ‘successes’ along the way.” :o)

      And long term motivation paired with short term SMART goals (blog to come) is definitely a key to make the new year’s resolution a celebrated success. :o)

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