My Way: The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions

Countdown-to-Fabulous-Dazzling-Styles-for-New-Years-Eve-300x165Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s time for everyone to make their New Year’s resolutions. I won’t be making one and I haven’t in many years. I would go as far as to say I really dislike New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ll get into that later.

I think we can all probably agree the most common resolution is to lose weight or be healthier. What those resolutions mean is it’s time for the gym to get flooded with people claiming this year it will be different. This is the year they will finally get in shape and make a real difference. Come February many of them will be gone, and by March there will only be a few stragglers left, just like every year. There will of course be a few strong people who make it, and to them I give a huge pat on the back.

Do you ever wonder why it is there is so little success with New Year’s resolutions? I think in large part it’s because they are a little forced. People feel bad about themselves for overdoing it over the Holidays. Many may even go into it thinking they’ll just lose what they gained in the imagesCA4BPY3E-300x226last couple of months. They are also often last-minute ideas that didn’t have much thought put into them and there is no plan.

Not having an action plan in place is a big part of the problem. Even worse is when they think that what they’ve done in the past has worked, so they’ll just try that again. Sorry, but if you lost 30 pounds last year and then gained it back, it didn’t work. If your goal is to lose weight, then you need a plan to lose that weight and keep it off. The crash diet that is so commonly used is not going to bring long-term success to anyone. I won’t even talk about how unhealthy it is. Bottom line is the crash diet is not something that is sustainable. It needs to be a lifestyle change because permanent results come from permanent changes.

Similarly to the problem of not having an action plan is that often the only real plan is a specific goal. While goals are certainly good, what good is a goal if you have no idea how to get there? Whether your goal is to lose weight, build more muscle or just flat-out be healthier, the problem with focusing on the goal is people get frustrated with it. It proves to be difficult, or it takes too long. There should be no time limit to attaining a goal, because if it’s something you want to sustain then time shouldn’t really matter. It matters more that you are doing the right things and making progress. You should be focusing on the process more than you are focusing on the end goal.

Okay, by now you’re probably wondering why I said I hate 2011-year-resolution-400x400New Year’s resolutions. Well it’s pretty simple really. The main purpose of a New Year’s Resolution is to change something about yourself that you don’t like, right? It’s a way people use to hopefully better themselves. That all sounds great, but what I don’t like is why does it take a new year to come to this decision? If there is something you don’t like about yourself then change it! It doesn’t matter when it is. We can all always make improvements and become more like the person we want to be any time we want, and we should.

So often I hear people who don’t like something about themselves say things like “It’s just the way I am” as if to say they were born a certain way and they can’t be changed. I don’t believe that to be true at all. I’m sorry but nobody just IS a certain way, and if you are a certain way now doesn’t mean you can’t change. I find it mind-boggling that people can truly hate things about themselves, but not be willing to try to change it. Life is too short to hate the way you are. So this is why I say nuts to New Year’s resolutions. You shouldn’t need a certain date or event to get you to change things you don’t like about yourself. In my opinion everyone should work on being the person they want to be at all times.

happy-fitness-girlWith all that said, if you are planning on making a resolution to get fit by all means please go for it! The idea of a resolution is great. I just wish people wouldn’t wait to do it once per year (and then do it half heartedly.) If you feel like not following through with it, try to remember why you wanted to change in the first place. Don’t let yourself down, I promise it will be worth it!

Happy Lifting!

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6 comments for “My Way: The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions

  1. January 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Nice post, and of course I agree. I find that in fitness, one has to hit rock bottom. Everyone’s threshold is different, but it usually has nothing to do with New Year’s at all. I do commend those trying to make a change in 2013, and hope the patience and support I’ll be offering these next few months will help inspire them to stick with i!

    • January 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks! You’re a great inspiration and I’m sure you’ll be a big help to those who want it!

  2. December 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I read something a while ago about the statistics on losing weight resolutions. Like 80% quit by Feb.
    I do not believe in New Year’s Resolutions either. I think it’s an excuse to put off accomplishing a difficult task. Sometimes things take baby steps to get started…you are changing a habit. Then adding pressure of a set date to make the change COMPLETELY….not gonna be successful.
    I am learning more and more each day on my journey and its was started well before the new year.

    • December 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      You’ve been on roll lately and it’s been great to follow! Definitely best to just start NOW, no matter when it is!

  3. December 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Great article. I know what you mean about New Year’s Resolutions. I still make a couple not related to my fitness, because I feel the same about lifestyle changes needing to occur when you make the decision they need to occur, not because they’re forced.

    But I think what I like about New Year’s Resolutions is that I do stop and think “What else?” when I might not otherwise do so. Mine (spoiler alert if you’ll be reading the blog) will be related to my potty mouth (decreasing) and my need to disagree when I, well, disagree (increasing).

    They weren’t something actively on my mind until I started thinking about what things I might want to consider for the resolutions. I enjoy getting in a few final f-bombs knowing they will be written out of my life for good starting in just a few days. I guess knowing that New Year’s is approaching and planning the resolutions is a way to allow for a finite view of ending one chapter of our lives and starting another one.

    That said, I like the cynical look at all those failed and bravado resolutions and I think I will reference this article when I do my resolutions post.

    Thanks for making me think differently!

    • December 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks Marla! You make a really good point actually. Something to think about moving forward. Definitely a good way to always try and better yourself.

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