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How to Set Successful New Years Resolutions

With New Year’s eve on the horizon, many people become more conscious of their harmful habits and look for ways to live better.

But why, despite their good intentions, do most people fail to stick to their resolutions and often revert to old behaviors by the end of January? More importantly, what can someone do to boost their chances of success?

Let’s discuss.

Young man running and sprinting on the road. How to set successful new years resolutions.

Why Most New Years Resolutions Fail

New Year’s resolutions can fail for many reasons, including a lack of time, knowledge or desire. Sometimes, people feel enthusiastic and set a goal but fail to follow through because the initial motivation fades.

One of the biggest reasons for failing is the lack of an actionable plan. People set goals and often take some action but lack a concrete plan, which leads to doubt and confusion.

For instance, let’s say that a person wants to lose weight. They might start exercising and eating only ‘clean’ foods because these are the two most popular tactics. But lacking a plan leads to confusion. 

For example, how would the person know if they are making progress? How should they proceed when weight loss inevitably stalls? 

These and other questions will always pop up, and the only way to answer them is by having a concrete plan and sufficient knowledge of how to reach the desired goal.

How to Set Successful Goals And Resolutions

1. Get Specific

The first step to success with your New Year’s resolution is getting as specific as possible. Set clear goals by following these two rules:

  • Start with a broad goal and narrow it down.

    “I want to lose weight.” ⇒ “I want to lose 10 lbs of fat.”

  • Set a deadline and make it achievable.

    “I want to lose 10 lbs of fat in the next 8 weeks.”

Doing so would add a deadline to your goal and make it measurable. If you want to lose 10 lbs in the next 8 weeks, that comes out to a weekly weight loss rate of just over one lb.

2. Ditch The All-Or-Nothing Mentality

The all-or-nothing mentality is a way of thinking where people believe they need to be perfect to reach a goal. 

For example, if someone wants to lose weight, they should eat nothing but clean foods and never even look at chocolate again. Even the slightest mistake would mean failure. 

Fortunately, that isn’t the case. You can reach goals even if you’re not 100 percent perfect all the time. So, instead of stressing yourself out, ditch the all-or-nothing mentality by focusing on what you do most of the time and how that affects your bottom line.

3. Track Your Progress

The third helpful tactic for being more successful with your goals is to track your progress. Doing so is great for two reasons:

  • Seeing improvements can motivate you and create a positive feedback loop. You make progress, which encourages you to work harder.
  • Progress tracking is a great way to stay accountable and keep your goals on top of mind. Too many people set goals and forget about them simply because nothing reminds them to take action.

    For instance, if you want to lose weight, stepping on the scale daily reinforces the goal and keeps you on track.


We’ve all been there:
Setting a New Year’s resolution, hoping to finally make lasting changes and achieve our goals, only to give up by the end of January.

The good news is that understanding the issue and taking active steps to resolve it could be what you need to succeed.

Need help with focusing in on your goals? Book a free coaching consultation with Matt right here.

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