Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work and What to Do Instead

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work and What to Do Instead

It’s the final countdown! If you’re thinking about making a New Year’s resolution for 2023, I want you to read this first.

The reality is, your resolution has a high chance of not working. Yup. It probably won’t work out. Why is this?

Everyone knows how hard it is to make changes stick. No matter how good your intentions are at 11:59 pm on December 31, your resolutions usually fail in a few weeks, or at least by Spring. Why is this? What keeps tripping us up year after year?

No matter what the goal is related to (weight loss, finances, career, etc.) there are 5 reasons your resolution keeps failing. 

Don’t worry though…I’ll give you some advice for what you can do to crush your goal this year instead!

#1 You’re not ready to change

We can all be really interested in changing something about ourselves or our situation, but if you’re not committed, it’s going to be an uphill battle with a 0% success rate.

You can be really interested in losing weight, gaining muscle, or having more energy in the new year, but if you’re not committed to making the changes associated with these goals, your consistency is going to be iffy, to say the least.

What’s the difference between interest and commitment? 

Interest means you follow through mostly when it’s just convenient. You don’t have to go out of your way too much. You see Planet Fitness has a deal on a membership, so you sign up, but you only go on the weekends when you have more time. You buy healthy options at the store, but if you don’t feel like cooking Tuesday night, you order takeout. 

Commitment means you don’t have many excuses for the goals established. You prioritize prepping some food items on the weekend because you know it helps your consistency on busy weeknights. You schedule workouts and treat them like appointments. It might not always be convenient, but you think ahead and remind yourself frequently of the goals.

So ask yourself with the goal(s) you have in mind, are you truly committed? Because if you’re simply really interested or just really like the sound of it, I might honestly reconsider to avoid wasted efforts. 

#2 You don’t have any accountability

I think we all know accountability is important, but we act like we don’t really need it for ourselves for some reason. “As long as I stay motivated, I’ll be fine, I don’t need someone checking in on me.” 

It’s easy to think this way, but let me tell you, accountability is a must. 

Listen to this: you are 25% more likely to give up within a week if you don’t have any accountability. Yikes!

First of all, motivation is fleeting. It comes and goes. We need accountability for the times when motivation is simply not there. We need outside cheerleaders to remind us of our goals and how we want to feel. 

And your outside cheerleaders can be from family, friends, a coach, or fellow members of a program with similar goals. Find your people and keep them close!

Accountability can definitely come in the form of community, and let me tell you, community is priceless. Having other people in the same boat as you not only makes you feel like you’re a part of something, but also that you’re not alone when the struggles come up (because they will come up!). 

And speaking of community, I’m going to shamelessly brag about our Metabolism Makeover Facebook group. It has 6,500+ members and the love and support in there is just 10/10.

#3 You’re not planning 

If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail!

You can have the goal of weight loss as a resolution, but you NEED to be specific and make a plan. How will you achieve the goal? Like really though.

What will your nutrition look like? Exercise routine? How will you make those things happen when life gets busy? 

You can’t just coast into the new year with good intentions but have no implementation strategy. 

Consider this: you are 76% more likely to achieve your new year’s resolution if you commit to a specific program or strategy. Those are pretty good odds!

I also want to encourage you in the midst of planning out your goals, to remember to keep a realistic mindset for progress (if we’re still talking about weight loss here)

  • A healthy rate of weight loss is 0.5-2 pounds a week max! 
  • If you’re focusing on improving your metabolism, weight loss will take time – we’re talking months and months, not weeks.
  • The scale doesn’t tell the full story: take measurements and pictures, and pay attention to other things like your energy, sleep quality, and strength gains!

The more you visualize and think about your game plan, the chances are much better that you’ll actually succeed.

#4 You don’t have the right knowledge yet

It sounds a little silly, but if you have big plans for next year, but you don’t have the right resources yet, you’re likely not going to make it happen. 

For example, I’m not going to set off on a “becoming debt-free journey” without learning what I need to know about a good budgeting system, good financial behaviors, frugal tips & tricks, and more. It would be like setting off to sea without knowing how to sail a boat.

Same goes for weight loss, and this might surprise you. Who doesn’t know how to lose weight? Well…..more people than you think.

Weight loss is not as simple as eating less and getting in more gym hours. In fact, this is the exact worst way to lose weight for good long term and also probably the best way to trash your metabolism…to put it nicely.

I can actually teach you the best way to lose weight in the 30-day program Metabolism Makeover. How is it different? We teach you how your metabolism actually works. How your body burns and stores fat. How your blood sugar is interconnected to both systems. How you can exercise smarter and not harder.

Successful long-term weight loss is really a matter of increasing your metabolism instead of decreasing your calories, and we show you exactly how to do this. We’re very much interested in you having a lifelong revved metabolism vs. shedding some temporary pounds and then gaining it back. 

So long story short, I don’t want you setting sail for your New Year’s goals without having the proper knowledge to reach your destination! 

#5 You’re only focused on what you have to give up

If we’re talking about a weight loss goal (because that’s probably why you’re here), it’s really easy to focus mostly on what you “shouldn’t” be eating or doing. 

You “shouldn’t” eat that doughnut, or skip a Monday workout, or eat after 7 pm. 

While none of these things are true btw, it’s a much more helpful perspective to think about what you can be ADDING!

How can I add more color to my meals? More protein/fat/fiber?

How can I add more movement to my day?

How can I add more food to my meal so I’m fuller longer throughout the day?

Do you see how much less restrictive this feels? And it gives you permission to tune into how you’re feeling. What more do you need? Instead of what should I say no to?

Restriction never works. Period. 

And back to the not being able to eat a donut thing…you 100% can! When you know exactly how your body loses fat and increases metabolism, you know how to eat ALL foods in a balanced way. This is what people refer to as food freedom. 

Having the freedom and flexibility to eat fun foods is a really important part of a weight-loss (or any health-related) goal in my professional opinion. If you can’t imagine going your whole life without enjoying some chocolate once in a while, why would you eliminate it until your goal is met? You need to be able to have a good relationship with food at all times.

And if you don’t have a good relationship with food, I highly recommend you join us for January’s Metabolism Makeover. Having complete clarity when it comes to your body and how it processes foods means you can confidently choose the foods you want to enjoy. This is where awareness + intention = flexibility + confidence in your food choices.

Now that you know how to actually make those resolutions happen next year, go do it!! If you truly believe it can happen for you, it will happen for you.

And if you need a proven strategy to lose weight in a healthy way (with a kick-ass community and amazing coaches for accountability), I invite you to join us for Metabolism Makeover or hop on the waitlist to catch us next time!

Happy New Year!

– Coach Elle, RDN

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