by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie CPT

Let’s be honest – New Year’s Resolutions are a flawed concept, at best. Don’t get me wrong. It’s awesome to make goals and strive to reach them, but waiting for some mythical concept like “a new year” to make those changes is just setting yourself up for failure. After a few days, your enthusiasm for the changes will wane and you’ll end up joining the large percentage of people who fail to keep their resolutions past March.

Still, it’s good to set goals and strive to reach them. But you have to know what you’re working toward or else you’ll never make any progress.

So let’s say you’ve started the New Year with the goals most of us end up setting, such as the following:

  • Lose weight
  • Do more exercise
  • Eat better
  • Stop doing( X ) thing that is impairing your health

But now that we’re a couple of months into the New Year, you’re finding that it’s harder to keep up with those resolutions. Eventually — and it’s guaranteed to happen — you’re going to break or have broken your resolution. So now what?

If you’re like most of the world, you’ll call it quits and say, “Oh well, I’ll try again next year.” Once you’ve broken the resolution once, you’re far more likely to break it again. It’s pretty basic psychology.

Come on…who cares? Of course you’re going to break your New Year’s resolutions! The reason you’ve resolved to do these things is because they’re difficult. If they weren’t, you would have already done them.

So you’ve broken the resolution — it doesn’t matter! That doesn’t mean you should give up on your goals. If anything, it’s actually proof that you’re making the right decision. Anything that’s worth doing will be difficult. It’s time to accept the fact that you’re human and make mistakes and determine to try again. It may just be time to adjust your approach.

Think of it like driving to work. You leave your home to go to the office using the same route you take every single day, but you run into construction work on the road. You’re forced to sit through frustrating traffic or have to detour to reach your destination.

Your fitness journey is very much the same. If your goal is to lose weight, you may find that one way doesn’t work. Instead of giving up on that goal, try a different approach. Keep trying different approaches until you find the one that does work. Keep striving and pushing to be better. In the end, that’s what the New Year’s resolution was all about.

Don’t be discouraged when you inevitably break that resolution. Use it as a challenge to evaluate what made you break the resolution in the first place. Once you pinpoint the problem areas, it’s easier to revise your course and find a more effective way to reach your goals!

Treat each day like it’s New Year’s Day

Approach each day with the same enthusiasm and momentum you had for your resolutions as you did on January 1. Treat each day as a new opportunity to achieve the goals you have set for yourself, and maybe set new ones. Remember, “If at first you don’t succeed; try, try again.”

Make it a team effort

If you have been trying to do this on your own, don’t. Tell your friends and families of your resolutions. Post it on Facebook if that helps. The accountability of family and friends helps during those weak moments, and will help you adhere to your resolutions.

 Reward yourself

Celebrate your success when you reach different benchmarks, but make sure the celebrating doesn’t conflict with your resolution. Instead, have your reward be a part of your resolution.

Remember, the key ingredient is perseverance. Regardless of how many times you have to restart your commitment to a change, the important part is learning from the journey and applying that learning to the next attempt. You should look at any setbacks as part of the rehearsal process for success.

So, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and Do Not Give UP!