New Year’s Resolutions – A Pathway to Success or Free Fall to Failure?

The beginning of a New Year brings moments of reflection for many. Regardless of whether you’re glad to see the back of 2019, or you have plenty of stand out moments, you’re probably starting to look ahead to what 2020 will bring.

Maybe this involves setting a New Year’s resolution based around your health, fitness or nutrition? But is this a pathway to success or the start of a free fall to failure? A quick Google search shows that the top two New Year’s resolutions are “exercise more” and “lose weight”. Yet in 2018, Brits were shunning the tradition, with only 22% of the population making resolutions. Could it be that we don’t like to set ourselves up for failure, given that only 27% of those who made resolutions in that year managed to keep them at all? Or is it just all in the execution?

What to consider before setting a NY resolution:

There are some key points to consider before you take on a New Year’s resolution, particularly one based around your health, fitness and nutrition goals.

Firstly, where is your motivation coming from? Maybe it’s a bet or a challenge from a family member, or maybe you’ve been thinking about this particular resolution for a while. You’ll be better equipped to achieve your goal and increase your chances of success if your motivation comes from within. Yes, what starts off as proving someone wrong or winning a bet could turn into a long lasting habit. However, if the bet is to run a marathon and you can’t find the motivation to get up at 5am to run in the rain before work, do you really want to achieve it that badly? YOU need to have the will to succeed long after other people have broken their resolutions.

Is your goal too broad? How often have you heard the sweeping statement that someone wants to lose weight? How much weight? By when? Do they have a body type in mind? How will they measure weight loss? How will they overcome obstacles? The old adage of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, springs to mind. Are you setting a resolution that is unrealistic for your lifestyle? If you live on processed food and have a sedentary job, a resolution of hitting 10,000 steps a day, eating five portions of fruit and veg and getting to bed at the same time every night might be more achievable than entering a physique competition.

It’s also important to look at what support you have around you. Are your home, work and social environments set up to help you achieve your goals, or do they present constant road blocks? Having a strong support network, be it person or place, where you can share your progress and challenges will come into it’s own when the going gets tough. Having this support can make you accountable, guiding you towards behaviours that are more in line with your goals. These people can also help pick you up and give you encouragement when you go off track.

Bumps along the road…

The path to achieving your goals, whether it be through a New Year’s resolution or any other time of the year, will never be a smooth one. There will be challenges along the way, and definitely times where you want to quit and not bother because the effort required seems too great.

So here’s the quick fire way to not be another New Year’s resolution statistic:

* What’s motivating you? Keep that at the front of your mind, or stick it on your fridge!
* Be specific! Start small and take an easy win.
* Keep modifying your goal if you need to. Make it something you can build into your lifestyle without getting overwhelmed.
* Find some support; friends, family, a community, or a coach.

If you do fail, that’s ok! Life changes and things get tough. Maybe next time, you just need a better plan….

If you want any further advice about setting goals relating to health, fitness and/or nutrition then drop us a line at

Coach Amy