Gini Dietrich

Why Nearly Every Resolution Fails—and What to Do Instead

By: Gini Dietrich | January 10, 2019 | 
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Why New Years Resolutions Fail and What do Do Instead I’m one of the world’s biggest jerks.

I HATE January in the gym. Hate.

And I complain about it, non-stop, too.

I hate that everyone has their New Year’s resolutions to get fit and healthy, which includes invading the gym for a whopping 30 days until they give up.

It’s not that I hate that they’re trying—or that they’re there. I hate that they don’t finish what they start.

And, in the meantime, I have to share my favorite bike, my favorite equipment, and my favorite locker. They don’t know the rules and think it’s a free-for-all.

It’s not, people! When you’re a regular, you know the rules.

It drives me crazy.

BUT.

A friend of mine, who lost 100 pounds last year, posted on Facebook:

For those of you who hate January in the gym, remember there are people like me who are just starting their journey to losing 100 pounds. Be kind.

Gulp.

GINI! YOU ARE A JERK!

So I have vowed to not swear under my breath or roll my eyes at any newbie this month.

I’ve even encouraged a few women I’ve seen more than once since the 1st.

You can teach this old dog new tricks!

Why Do Resolutions Fail?

And, as I’m learning new tricks, it’s also made me think about why we make resolutions we don’t keep.

Why is it the gym is packed (and I mean PACKED) in January, but by February, it empties back out?

Is it too hard? Is it too much? Does our motivation wane as we get back into our normal routines?

To learn more, I talked to my friend, Ron Friedman, who is a productivity expert.

He said:

Resolutions typically fail and that’s because we aim too high. We fail to take into account the basic realities of how our minds and bodies operate. What makes resolutions stick? Making them easy, simple, and fun.

Many people make their resolutions with a genuine belief that they can accomplish them.

And that’s great!

But come February, the excitement wears off, other priorities take precedence, and we realize how hard our resolution is.

So we skip one day of going. And then two. And then three.

Suddenly we have stopped going to the gym entirely.

It’s not easy—I can vouch for that.

And January is the absolute worst time for resolutions because most of the country is cold and dark.

Why can’t we make resolutions in June when we have more sunlight and it’s easier to get out bed?

How to Crush Your Resolutions

To cure the issue, and actually get to December having accomplished your resolutions, set smaller benchmarks throughout the year.

If you have a week that screws you up—maybe you or your family were sick, you were traveling, you just had a crazy week at work—don’t let that curtail your progress.

Just like you do with work projects, break down your resolutions into easier-to-achieve chunks.

Going back to my friend who lost 100 pounds last year, she didn’t set out to lose 100 pounds in three months.

That’s impossible.

Instead, she set out to lose weight, get in shape, and work on her mindset.

It’s much easier to say, “I’m going to lose eight pounds this month” than try to measure yourself against a 100-pound goal.

And get yourself an accountability partner.

I have another friend who has lost a significant amount of weight, as well, and he did it through Healthy U.

Or post your progress on Facebook every, single week. The wins AND the losses.

Or just choose a friend or colleague—someone you trust to be hard on you when you have a setback (and you will have a setback)—to hold you accountable to your goals.

Learn More to Achieve More

And this isn’t just for those of you who have resolutions to lose weight or get in shape or have better fitness.

It works for all types of resolutions and goals—for increased revenue, better time management, using the word “no” more often, reading more, getting home in time for dinner, decluttering your lives, or whatever it is that you dream of doing.

And, as it turns out, if you’re smart about your resolutions, you can get more done without working harder…which I think is a goal for all of us.

On that topic, the aforementioned Ron Friedman has a free workshop that teaches you some of the ways to get more done without working harder—and how to become a gym regular who hates January because all the newbies have stolen your favorite equipment without realizing their mistake.

The workshop is called How Top Executives Get to the Top Without Working 24/7, and I’m going to attend later today to see if there is anything new he can teach me.

Especially in my quest to be more welcoming and kind to the newbies in the gym.

You will learn how to:

  • Get more done with less effort.
  • Stay focused (and avoid distractions) so you can finish work faster.
  • Get higher quality sleep (without spending more time in bed).
  • Feel in control of your workday.

It’s time to crush your resolutions and not let anything get in the way of success.

Break your resolutions into smaller goals, get yourself an accountability partner, and take Ron’s workshop.

(I get nothing from taking or mentioning this workshop…except maybe another year of Ron’s friendship. One can hope!)

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, the lead blogger at Spin Sucks, and the host of Spin Sucks the podcast. She also is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.