Why your new year’s resolution fails

I venture to guess your New Year’s Resolution(s) is one or more of the following:

  • To lose # pounds
  • Exercise more
  • Find a new job
  • Start a new hobby
  • Eat more healthily
  • Learn a new skill
  • Quit something

These are all noble pursuits, but have you asked yourself “Why?”? Why do you want to reach this particular new year’s resolution? Let’s go with the most popular: losing weight. Typically, people have a number. We’ll say you want to lose 30 pounds.

I’ll set the new year’s resolution scene:

It’s December 31st and you’re at brunch with your friends sharing your New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone’s going around the circle saying they want to do this and that and it’s your turn. You say, “I want to lose 30 pounds,” and everyone’s stoked for you, like, “Yeah! Go get it!” “That’s a great goal!” “Good for you!” You’re feeling jazzed and motivated, thinking, “I’ll drop 30 pounds like it’s hot!”

You go home and share that with your family now that you’re excited about the conversation earlier. Your family is happy for you too and offer words of encouragement. Sweet! Look at all this support I have! you think to yourself. 

You party and wake up January 1st. You’re still motivated, albeit, a tad hungover. You go to your local gym and see the hundreds of other people who have the same goal as you. You sign up, pay the registration fee, and hit the locker room. You stuff your 5-year-old gym bag into the locker and step on to the gym floor. You walk around a little, looking for less intimidating machines. You pick up some dumbbells and pump out 12 reps because that sounds right. You do that a few times. Then you jump on the treadmill for 30 minutes, run-walking, and finally call it a day.

You eat salad for lunch instead of the cheeseburger you’re used to eating because you think that’s what you need to do to lose weight. 

And this goes on for about a month but you’re not seeing the results you thought you’d see. You thought it’d be easier to lose 30 pounds. You become a little less motivated, cutting down gym time, and sliding those cheeseburgers back into the diet because at least you’re still going to the gym and you’re drinking more water.

You haven’t done any research on training plans or losing fat. You’re not quite sure what to do so you stick with the same 30-minute treadmill routine. 

By February, you’re back to your old habits: sleeping in on the weekends and cheeseburgers for lunch. You gained back the couple of pounds you lost in January and maybe even more weight than you started. Is it muscle or fat? You’re not sure. 

Why do you so many New Year’s Resolutions fail?

Because you don’t have a Why behind your new year’s resolution. 

We make new year’s resolutions because it’s the thing to do. We’re bombarded with bullshit slogans, “New Year, New You.” We think of “nice-to-haves” and make it a goal, without regard to why we want to achieve that goal in the first place. 

Why do you want to lose XX pounds? Why do you want to exercise more? Why do you want to find a new job? Why do you want to start a new hobby? Why do you want to eat more healthily? Why do you want to learn a new skill? Why do you want to quit XX? 

When you create a new year’s resolution, ask yourself:

  • Why this goal and not something else?
  • How will this benefit me?
  • How will it change me for the better?
  • Who does this really benefit?
  • How will I feel once I reach this goal?
  • What will I do once I reach this goal?

Get crystal-freaking-clear on your new year’s resolution. Ask “Why?” until you know the answer deep down. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone but yourself, but you do have to know your “Why?” Because if you don’t, it’ll fall to the wayside, just like any meaningless new year’s resolution we create because we feel like we need to.

Be so clear you can taste it.

Are you struggling to even figure out where to start? I created an eBook based on what I’ve used to develop my own goals. It starts with a retrospective of the past. This can be the past week, month, or year. 

Start by asking yourself what’s working in your life. Then, ask yourself what isn’t. Figure out what you’ve learned the past week/month/year so you can apply that when you create a worthwhile new year’s resolution, or what I call, intention. 

When you set an intention, you’re aiming to achieve something that isn’t set in other peoples’ new year’s resolutions or what you think you should do. Intention-setting is everything about you and nothing about anyone else. 

Setting intentions means focusing on who you hope to become afterward, deciphering your priorities, and creating a personal affirmation to guide you through.

Need help with your new year’s resolution?

You can download the ebook here and I hope you will. 

If you’re looking for a coach to help with strength training or cycling, please reach out to me.

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