What to Do About Your Failed New Year’s Resolutions

Attractive blond woman with smart phone, resting after gym workout

Did you know that 14% of gym memberships joined in January are stopped in February? While that doesn’t seem like a lot, that’s not taking into account the people who are still “donating” to the gym — that is, they’re paying for it but aren’t going. By June, 56% of would-be gym-goers have stopped their donations and attendance altogether. Does that mean it’s time to pack it up and save the efforts until next year?  Of course not, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this! Here are four things you can do if you’ve ditched your resolutions for Netflix binges:

Do What You Love

As with everything in life, it would benefit you to actually enjoy your method of torture. (Whoops, autocorrect seems to have spelled “exercise” wrong).  No matter how you spell it, some people just enjoy exercise more than others. Either way, I guarantee you, there is no one person that doesn’t enjoy it all, there are just people who haven’t found what they enjoy doing. Take me for example, I hated exercise for a long time because I thought that meant going to the gym and waiting for other people to finish so I could use some machine. And then I found spin class. Not only could I listen to amazing music while I worked out, I found a community of people I enjoyed working out with, and I always left class feeling accomplished (because, somehow, being drenched in sweat makes me feel like I did something). Now, my day feels incomplete without spin and dare I say, actually miss it when I don’t do it. I even found a spin class to take while on vacation in the Philippines!

So what does this mean for you?  If you’ve failed your exercise-related New Year’s resolutions, consider it may be because you haven’t found your workout of choice.  If you know what it is you do love, consider trying a new gym with a different teacher (here’s a link to a list of gyms in the fitted. network, for your convenience). Once you find the workout your heart desires, it will be much easier, and you’ll be more likely, to stick with it.

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Don’t Quit Cold-Turkey

I have a very extreme personality, which could be good but most often backfires on me. Before my first snowboarding trip, I got a board, bindings, boots, and a bunch of gear instead of borrowing and renting like a normal person. While I had a good run, I am now the proud owner of two snowboards (including bindings and matching boots for each) that have decorated my walls for the past four years since I last saw snow. That same all-in attitude translates into my diet as well — when I want to eat healthier, I have to exclude all the yummy things that don’t provide my body any nutrients. Naturally, this leads to me giving up sooner and more likely to say things like, “Thug Life!  Let’s eat all the dessert we can until I can’t move!” (I know, I’m very overdramatic, I get it from my mom).

Learn from my mistakes! Just because you resolve to eat healthier, it doesn’t mean you have to go on a juice cleanse then go vegan for the rest of the year. Instead, be practical (do as I say, not as I do)! Start small with just smarter decisions — vegetables instead of french fries, water instead of soda, a single serving instead of a family size. These little victories will let you get your feet wet and may even be all you need to achieve your goals! If not, you can graduate on to bigger steps — no carbs in the evenings, salads for lunch, whatever floats your boat — when you’re ready and not any sooner. You’ll feel ready much quicker than you’ll anticipate and it will soon become a lifestyle change instead of a temporary diet.

Set your goals, business concept

Be S.M.A.R.T.!

When you’ve decided to resolve to be a better person, no matter the time of year, use the S.M.A.R.T. method.  And write them down, while you’re at it!  As little as both of these things may seem, they increase the chances of you keeping your goals exponentially! If you’re not familiar, S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

So, instead of just resolving to lose weight, you can set a goal to lose 6% of body fat by June 15 by doing cardio twice a week and lifting weights three times a week. The latter goal is specific (listing exercise methods), measurable (the percentage of loss), attainable (this would be considered reasonable assuming a well-balanced diet), relevant (achieves the goal of losing weight), and time-bound (June 15). Doing this will keep your expectations from running away from you, and you can set a few throughout the year to achieve your overall resolution of “losing weight.”

[RELATED:  3 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success in the New Year]

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Progress, Not Perfection

This is one of my favorite sayings because it can really be applied to any avenue of life. Often, we’re too hard on ourselves, and this is the perfect way of keeping yourself from stressing too much. You will make mistakes and probably cheat on your goals every once in a while. (Sometimes a box of donuts will just fall into your mouth accidentally; it happens)!  Luckily, tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity for you to work towards your goals. The same goes for resolutions; it may be three months in and you’ve completely failed, but you don’t have to wait until 2017 to try again!

Additionally, there will always be a skinnier model, more built body, or bigger muscles for you to aspire to. Instead, daily, just focus on being the best version of you this point in your life.  It sounds cheesy at first, but if you really just think about it, if you’re just a healthier, better person this year than last, I’d say that’s a goal achieved!

Alyssa Carlos
Alyssa is a full-time defense consultant, part-time Soulcycle addict, and imaginary jeopardy champion. When she's not getting her spin class fix, she's finding new ways to workout so she can eat more, holding concerts in her car during traffic, and aspiring to be the next Anthony Bourdain. You can follow her food adventures at planesandplatters.com or on the following social media sites

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