The New Year is here, and with it comes scores and scores of New Year’s resolutions.
At one time, resolutions were something many people aspired to achieve as a way to improve themselves, mentally, physically, spiritually, or financially. These days, however, the notion or establishment of a New Year’s resolution is more often a punchline.
The reason for this is that roughly 80% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the time February rolls around. Note, this is a large part of the reason gyms are jam-packed in January and bone dry in February.
We’ve all fallen prey to New Year’s resolutions whether we bit off more than we could chew (e.g. wanting to build 50 pounds of muscle in a year) or gotten swept up in the moment and made a resolution we really weren’t all that passionate to accomplish (e.g. taking up that underwater basket-weaving class).
Just because we’ve made resolutions and abandoned them (or left them not 100% fulfilled) doesn’t mean we’re underachievers, slackers, or bad people. But, it does mean there’s room to improve.
Today, we give you 7 tips to set your new year’s resolution and keep it!
7 Tips to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution
#1 Make a Meaningful Resolution
Why did you make the resolution you made?
Where did the idea for your resolution come from?
How would achieving your resolution(s) influence/improve your situation?
If you can’t answer these questions with relative ease, then chances are pretty good that the resolution you’re making isn’t all that meaningful to you, and as a result the probability of you achieving it are quite low.
Resolutions that stick are ones that have deep personal connections to individuals. Uncertainty and lack of meaning breeds indifference which directly impacts motivation and willingness to “show up” each day for your goals.
Before you set down your resolution(s) for the year, take some time to seriously contemplate where you are right now in your life and where you’d like to be this time next year. Zeroing in on that will help you make more meaningful resolutions, thereby increasing the likelihood you’ll achieve them in the coming 365 days.
#2 Be Specific
Building off the previous point, not only must your resolution have meaning, but it should be specific.
Simply setting a goal or resolution isn’t enough.
Research shows that creating vague goals or objectives can actually lead to greater psychological distress.
Creating a specific and meaningful goal not only gives a personal connection to your objective but a destination.
Lack of specificity is why many individuals fail with their weight loss resolutions. They say they want to “lose weight” (which has a meaningful connection), but it lacks specificity.
How much weight do you want/need to lose? How fast do you want to lose the weight? What steps are you taking to lose weight?
As you can see from the above example, a meaningful goal is important, but so too is its specificity.
If your goal is to lose weight (as is the goal for many people come New Year’s), then write down how much weight you want to lose and when you want to lose it. Being specific allows you to track your progress and see whether the steps you’re taking towards accomplishing your goal are working or not.
#3 Divide & Conquer
A major key to success with any big picture goal in life is the ability to subdivide it into smaller tasks.
This accomplishes a few things.
First, it takes what could be a fairly overwhelming endeavor and breaks it up into more manageable chunks. Second, as you accomplish each mini-goal, you’ll be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment that will serve as fuel to keep pushing you along the path of success towards your ultimate end-goal.
For instance, let’s say you want to lose 25 pounds this year -- an impressive goal, but one that can seem fairly daunting, nigh impossible, if you try to accomplish it in a month, let alone a week.
Take your end goal (lose 25 pounds) and break it up into smaller and smaller chunks. You could subdivide your 25 pound weight loss goal into 5 pounds of weight loss per month and then further subdivide that into 1.25 pounds of weight loss per week, which is an incredibly realistic and achievable goal.
It can also help to create checklists, which can serve as a “roadmap” getting you from point A to Z. Each entry on the checklist can be an individual step or mini-milestone on the path to your ultimate goal.
As you accomplish each one, put a giant check next to it to show that you’ve completed your objective and it also serves as a reminder and encouragement for those times when you may feel down or unmotivated to keep pursuing your goal.
#4 Start Small
Harkening back to something we mentioned at the outset of this article, one of the main reasons many individuals fail to achieve their New Year’s resolution is that they are a bit too aggressive with their goals.
In other words, they bite off more than they can chew.
You may have experienced this yourself.
For example, you may have previously made it a goal to start hitting the gym regularly. In your zeal, you may have even selected an advanced hypertrophy training program that had you in the gym, five or six days per week.
While it’s admirable to swing for the fences with your fitness goals and New Year’s Resolutions, trying to take on too much too soon or enact too drastic of a change more often than not leads to failure.
The reason for this is that most people work best with small changes to their lifestyles, not massive overhauls to the status quo.
You can eventually get your way there, but it’s going to take time.
Another way to look at it is this:
Let’s say you currently live a sedentary life, smoke, and want to lose 10 pounds.
If you try to start going to the gym seven days per week, exercising 2 hours per day, and quit smoking with the goal of dropping the weight in a week or two, you’re going to fail...even if you have the willpower of Thanos and the Avengers combined.
You can accomplish each of these things...but, it’s going to take time.
Drastically ramping up your physical activity from 0 to 100 while simultaneously overhauling your diet and quitting smoking cold turkey is a massive stressor to your body, mentally and physically.
Instead, focus on implementing one change at a time.
First, focus on increasing your level of physical activity each day. Go for a walk, aim to complete a certain number of steps, etc. When you can do this for a week or two straight, then start hitting the gym to lift weights.
After another couple of weeks (once lifting has become part of your weekly habit), implement another change (reducing how much processed food you’re eating). And then, in another couple of weeks add another tweak (increasing how many meals you cook for yourself).
It may seem like baby steps, but over the course of the following months, you’ll have made drastic changes such that when you look back at where you were and where you are now, it’ll seem like two different people. Yet, you got there by making tiny adjustments each and every day.
#5 Forget the “All or Nothing” Mentality
One of the main reasons people fail with sticking to their New Year’s resolutions is that they have the “all or nothing” mindset wherein if they’re not doing some all the way, they’re failing.
Had a bite of chocolate cake at a party? -- forget it. You’ve failed with your goals to eat “clean.”
Missed a workout this week? -- congrats, your goal of getting ripped and muscular this year has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Embracing such a draconian, binary mindset does little to build up your confidence or increase your chances of successfully sticking to your resolution.
Part of the journey to success (in any endeavor in life) is realizing that there will be speed bumps and hiccups (“setbacks”) along the way.
The important thing to keep in mind is that when you do have a setback, acknowledge it, learn from it, and get back on plan ASAP.
For instance, if your goal is to improve your diet (with the ultimate goal of losing weight), but you splurged a bit too much one night at dinner with the family, own it. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t think that you’ve completely blown your New Year’s resolution.
You can still improve your diet and lose weight, it’s not game over.
When you do have a setback, try to figure out and understand what caused you to lapse (stress, surroundings, environment, etc.) and what you can do in the future to prevent the same outcome from happening.
By realizing that setbacks are part of the process, you can prepare yourself for them to happen as well as establish a course of action to get you back on track after it happens.
#6 Create an Environment of Success
A huge part of success is structuring your environment in such a way that it supports your goals.
What and who you surround yourself with has a profound impact on your mindset and actions each and everyday.
For example, if you want to lose weight, keeping a pantry and fridge stocked full of chips, candy, cookies, and ice cream is going to make the job that much harder.
If you know that you’re easily tempted to grab whatever foods are readily accessible when you’re hungry, toss out the junk food and stock your kitchen with healthy food options in plain sight. Place a basket of fruit on the counter. Keep sliced veggies in the refrigerator. Etc.
This also extends to your training program.
If you’re someone who struggles to hit the gym regularly or get in their morning cardio, then lay out your gym clothes the night before and/or have your gym bag packed and ready when you go to bed. You can also have your tub of pre workout, like Ape Sh*t or Mega Pre Black, sitting right next to your clothes so that you can take your supplements prior to training, ensuring your body and mind are properly fueled for the training session.
That way when you wake up, there’s no thinking or second guessing. You see your gear is ready to go the second you wake up, and you can get to it.
Removing these hurdles and optimizing your environment will be a huge help in achieving your New Year’s resolution.
#7 Start NOW
The New Year is a time when millions of people set goals, but who says you have to wait until new year’s to make or start your resolution.
Life is short, and there is no better time to start than NOW.
If you have chosen a goal or resolution that really has meaning (see point #1), then you should be chomping at the bit to get started on your new endeavor.
Sure, January 1st is the first day of the new year, but in all other aspects it’s pretty much like every other day in the year. It has 24 hours in it. The sun rises and sets. So on and so forth.
Stop procrastinating. Make your resolution, create a plan of attack and get started right now.
Millions of resolutions are made every year, and the vast majority of them are never realized.
Use the tips in this article to not only make better, more attainable New Year’s resolutions but also achieve them so that when it comes this time next year, you can look back with pride and a sense of accomplishment for all that you’ve done.
And, if you need help achieving your goals, be they muscle gain, fat loss, or general physical fitness, Primeval Labs supplies an extensive range of premium-quality supplements to help you do just that!
- Luciani, J. (2015). Why 80 Percent of New Year's Resolutions Fail. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail
- Nicholas J. Moberly, Joanne M. Dickson. Goal conflict, ambivalence and psychological distress: Concurrent and longitudinal relationships. Personality and Individual Differences, 2018; 129: 38 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2018.03.008.