Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail and how to get round this!

So it’s a brand new year perfect time to think up the brand new you and make some awesome brand new resolutions!..... Yaaaay! Well not quite so yaaaay - who here has ever felt like their New Year’s resolutions simply turn into a ‘to do’ list for the first week of January? Yeah uh huh who can relate??? So let’s look into this a little closer shall we - why the heck is it that within a week after all those positive new goals and habits have been declared, with all the best of intentions to stick at it, before we know it we are back to our usual unhealthy ways and procrastinating on all those new goals?

Here are ten reasons why your New Year’s resolutions may not be going quite  as well as you had hoped...

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

It’s the little and often approach that will work best. Slow, small, steady habit change may not be sexy but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!). So instead of saying right because it’s New Year I’m going to change my entire life overnight, start by just simply adding one positive habit per week and go from there.

2. You don’t believe in yourself.

If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will do it’s very best to stop you! The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year you can try again (but better this time because you have the know how).

3. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

Nothing will happen if you fail to take action. Thinking about doing it is not going to help - you must actually do it. Some people think oh maybe if I just go and read up on it a bit more, or watch a bit more Utube - then I’ll be ready to go do it... no just go out and do it! Just that one small thing - go do it. Go do it now.

4. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles. Stay consistent and practice, practice, practice. Think of your goal / new habit as a staircase - you can’t get to the top in one flying leap - you have to take it one small step at a time.

5. You don’t enjoy the process.

You are not going to stick to that new goal or habit if you see it as an absolute chore or dreadful bore. The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it. The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make that goal or new habit fun, however you’ve gotta do it. Get a training buddy, join a group you enjoy being with, if it’s a fitness goal - find something you love doing (like aerial!). It always helps to do it with others as that’s a sure fire way to enjoy the process more.

6. You’re trying too hard.

Don’t worry if you can’t keep up your training / new habit all the time - remember we’re going for the long term here... the more you force yourself too much the more your body will probably want to rebel against it - so don’t sweat it if you take a week off or need a day in bed once in a while or just need to overindulge every now and then. Remember we are not machines we are humans!

7. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen (or check out my fabulous fitness planner I have prepared especially for you!). For every workout or training session, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how you did. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

8. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone - far from it. Buddy up or join a tribe / group. This is by far the best way to be held accountable. That’s why the Skylab community is so important - the more you hang out with like minded people the more likely you’ll be able to make positive decisions to help you stay on track. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

9. You know your what but not your why.

Wanna know the biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail? You know WHAT you want but you not WHY you want it.

Yes you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children or colleagues can admire, respect and look up to?

Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting fit because you want to be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident or have an excuse to buy hot new clothes is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

10. Change means losing something

Most people associate change with giving up or losing something.  With a CHANGE = LOSING mindset we call ourselves losers before we even begin.

We need to perceive a resolution as a new positive habit, reformed habit, or rebuilt habit. And always positive. So instead of something like ‘I must give up eating junk food’ think of it like this - by saying no to junk food now, what am I saying yes to?

Or ‘I don’t have time to workout out more in order to get fitter’ - by making time to workout more I am saying yes to more energy and focus which will mean I will get more done.

11. Say it like you mean it.

Saying it for the sake of it. Examples like ‘I should really get fitter, I suppose I will go to the gym or I’ll try to eat less cake’. Mostly these are statements we make because we would like to be fitter and healthier, as do most of us. Every success begins with a decision, but the level of success will depend on your conviction to achieve your goal. But the intention is not there unless there are specific goals made, and an action plan put into place.

12. Be specific

Put a date on it. Put a number on it. Put a limit on it. Put it on paper. Name it, shame it and state your contingency plan.

‘I need to get stronger’. 'I should be more flexible'. 'I have to get fitter' are vague non-responsible statements. They will not encourage success. How about this instead...

Starting today, I will make a fitness plan setting out my exact fitness goals and the time frame I want to achieve them in and consistently work towards them. For example I would like to be able to do X move in X months time which means I will need to practice X times a week at home or hit the gym X times a week so that by X date I can do this.

Or if you are a fan of Skylab it may go something like this... I want to be able to get my chin over the pull up bar in two months time which means: I will need to go and buy a pull up bar and install at home, practice on it 3 times per week and make sure I go to Skylab twice per week so that I can do this in 2 months time. I will also write this into my fitness planner and find a buddy to train with so that on my bad days they will hold me accountable and make sure I still do it.

That sounds like it's really gonna happen right - much better than a half assed 'oh I suppose that perhaps maybe I wanna do a pull up'... Is this making sense - are you gonna do this!!!

13. Don’t go for the ‘one off’

Any resolution needs thought, process and outcome - no plan should be a 'one-off!' Planning should always be ongoing, leading to the next thing, ultimately leading to our life-long goals and aspirations. By practicing planning throughout the year, new year plans will lose their shock value, and be more sustaining – using the tips above of course!

14. The back up plan

When flying an aeroplane, and something goes wrong, rather than having to take time to think out the situation, the pilot diagnoses the issue and looks up the solution in the procedures manual. The problem has already been predicted, and a solution recorded. When making up and keeping to your new years resolutions, take a few minutes to write down 2 or 3 things you will do if you 'fall off the wagon'. This is your procedures manual – it will tell you exactly WHAT you need to do if you hit a brick wall, fail, or slow down.

So that was a lot of info right!  Here's a quick bullet point summary to get you going - basically all this means is if you want to make new years resolutions and stick to them this is your action plan!...

  1. Think long term not quick fix
  2. Make an action plan that’s specific
  3. Work out your why not just the what
  4. Get a buddy or group to hold you accountable
  5. Have a back up plan
  6. Say it like you mean it
  7. Believe in yourself
  8. Take action and just do it
  9. On the way stay consistent, enjoy the process, don’t worry if you slip occasionally
  10. Know that you are saying yes to something positive

So that's it from me - hope you have an amazing New Year let's smash out 2018 and make it the best year yet!

And if you have any awesome New Year's Resolutions please do comment below - as I would love to hear about them, oh and if you liked this post please like and share with others.