Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work

04 January

January 1st rolls around and somehow, everyone has motivation to do something, many times focused on health and/or weight loss. Gyms are crowded, people pay a lot of money in hopes that this time it will be different and the goal will be attained. By mid-February, many have given up on the New Year’s Resolution and have reverted to old habits and/or actions.

The key to this is the “Why.” Many neglect to see the reason or payoff for their actions that have maintained negative behavior so this post will address key points that may help you meet their goals.

Why you do what you do

First, you need to understand that every action/behavior has a payoff whether you are aware of it or not. Some overeat, some drink excessively, some make excuses for not going to the gym. So for any goal to work, you must be aware of the specific actions that may be holding you back. This requires reflection and time. This requires work and most times, this is the hardest step. However, by identifying behaviors that are holding you back, you can start working on ways to resolve these issues.

The power is within you

Another reason New Year’s Resolutions don’t work is because many attribute this day as some sort of epiphany to change. We need to realize we should not wait to make change for the better. Many give power to a day rather than realize the power within. Everyone one of us has the ability to change and the power to grow, we just need to tap into that power and not give it to someone or some external event. We need to believe in ourselves the whole year, not just one magical day.

Break it into small steps

If you want to grow and change, start now but break it up and make it a step by step process. Sometimes, coaches and trainers can help guide you through this process but ultimately change in behavior is reliant on your commitment. Once you understand your actions and that you have the power, then you can start looking at individual actions/habits that need to be addressed. Once you have your list, you can take one obstacle and do what needs to be done. The key here is to replace the this action with a beneficial action that will help you achieve your goal.

Write it down

Think about the end product or what you envision the goal to be. Write it down at the end of your notebook or at the bottom of your sheet.
Write down what you think has held you back from meeting that goal. At the top of your sheet write: challenges/obstacles and list as many as you can think of. Now, take one of those obstacles and break it down. Look at specific actions/steps you can take to address it. Work on that one action before moving on to the next.

Be patient and persistent

Have discipline when you want to give up. Understanding why you do what you do will help you consistently identify your obstacles and help you break them down so you can overcome them once and for all. Not falling prey to quick fixes like magical pills that help you lose weight or programs that may be too much too soon is also important in keeping with your fitness goals.

As you look at ways to meet your new goals, ask important questions like is this sustainable and safe? Remember true change takes time. If we could all meet our goals in one month, then we would all be where we want to be. So as you look at your goals for this upcoming year, don’t categorize them as a New Year’s Resolution, categorize them based on what is important to who you are or what you want to do in this life.

But most importantly, remember you are worthy of the why and the change. You are enough to do it.

Wishing you a great start to the New Year!

Edward Scaduto