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Five Ways to ...
Published: June 8, 2024

Five Ways to Get Back on Track with Your New Year’s Resolutions

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The promise of the new year can have us thinking about changes we’d like to make in the coming months. Though many of us try to limit what they’d like to achieve, we can still end up halfway through the year with abandoned plans, discarded exercise equipment, chaotic eating habits, and a feeling of inadequacy.

Why do we fall off the wagon on things we were so set on in January? Maybe our goals were unsustainable. Maybe we aren’t seeing the results we thought we would. Maybe our old lifestyle and habits have slipped back without us noticing. Whatever the reason, the middle of the year is a good a time as any to reevaluate your New Year’s resolutions, understand when and how your goals became unobtainable, and recommit yourself to making the changes you want to your life.

Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?

Dreaming big is going – but sometimes we focus so heavily on achieving the end goal that we create more self-doubt and stress, fearing we can’t achieve our goal. It’s very possible that our resolution was unattainable. We have expectations of what New Year’s resolutions should look like – lose 10 pounds, eat fewer calories, start a new hobby – but fail to recognize the lifestyle changes making those resolutions entail. If you’ve never gone for a run before, how do you expect to finish a marathon? How can we expect to make drastic changes without putting in the work to get to the metaphorical starting line?

We judge ourselves and our inability to latch onto the “new year, new me!” trend we’re bombarded with every single year. Negative self-talk fills our heads about our failures, and while there’s nothing innately wrong about having those thoughts, it’s important to recognize them as what they are and shift our mindset back to positivity. Instead of “Why do I always fail?” we can ask ourselves “What can I do to ensure success this time? How do I get back on track?”

Five Ways to Get Back on Track

No matter what your New Year’s goals are, it’s not too late to commit yourself to achieving them.

Step back and reassess

Really look at what you’re hoping to achieve with these goals. Are you actually ready to give up that habit? Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean you’re ready to. You may have established a resolution under pressure from outside forces. But you don’t need to wait until you’re completely convinced of your ability to succeed – if you do, you might never begin the journey for fear of failure.

Take a step back and reassess your goals, why you chose them as your goals, and decide a plan of action moving forward.

Focus on the positives

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the feeling of failure, especially when you haven’t met the goals you set in the New Year. Instead of dwelling on what you haven’t accomplished, remember all that you have. Maybe you didn’t learn a new language, but you did get a new job. Maybe you didn’t lose ten pounds, but you discovered a passion for cooking. Focusing on what you did achieve can help renew your confidence in getting back on track for your original resolutions.

Break it down into manageable pieces, parts, or steps

Some resolutions all but set us up for failure. Resolutions that aren’t actionable or meaningful may be nearly impossible to achieve. Instead of saying you’re going to “be healthier” this year, decide on a gym schedule for two to three days each week. With this type of goal, you’ll be able to measure your progress by how often you end up working out.

As you continue through the year, adjust your resolutions if the need arises. In the end, you’ll end up with a clearly defined goal that makes clear what steps you’re taking to make changes.

Find your support group

Support from family, friends, colleagues, and professionals can help us stick to our resolutions. It can be helpful to be held accountable, and by declaring our intentions to someone else, it can help us to follow through with that goal. Health Coaches and life coaches are particularly suited for this role – they can help you determine goals and how to achieve them through measurable steps and can act as a support system.

Have patience

Just because you didn’t achieve your goal in the first half of the year doesn’t mean you’re doomed in the latter half, too. As you reassess your goals, remember to be patient with yourself and this process. You’re likely going to be working harder than you ever have, and while the end result will be worth it, rushing the process can result in another round of failure. Forming a habit can take anywhere from three days to three weeks: Be patient, you’ll get there.

The Bottom Line

Habits you formed over years don’t change after a matter of days or weeks. Change takes time and commitment, and it takes challenging your comfort level. Be patient with yourself and remember why you set goals in the first place. Even if you haven’t reached your New Year’s resolutions yet this year, there’s still time. It may take a little longer, but achieving goals isn’t a race. Once you’ve made the commitment to change your life, it takes the rest of your life to make those changes.


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