PSA: You Can Hit Redo On Your Resolutions At Any Time
Abandoned your New Year's resolutions already? You’re certainly not alone. As we wave goodbye to the start of the year, we also bid farewell to some of the motivation and enthusiasm we might have felt at the beginning of 2024.
While on January 1st, you might have felt driven, excited and confident in your ability to smash a long list of goals, you may not be feeling quite as committed a few weeks on. If this is you, there’s no shame or failure in feeling this way. One study found that while 77% maintain their resolutions for one week, only 19% will have stuck with their goals two years on.
Even those who do stick to their resolutions drop the ball from time to time, with 53% of successful participants in the study reporting at least one slip-up. That's totally normal too - we're all about consistency and progress over perfection.
So instead of kicking your goals to the curb or waiting for a new week, month or year to begin again, let’s dive into why you might have abandoned your resolutions, and how you can improve your ability to stay focused, determined and achieve whatever you set your mind to. Spoiler alert: you don't need a new year to hit refresh on your goals!
Why do we give up on our goals?
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there are a few reasons many of us throw in the towel before reaching the finish line.
Over the years, the second Friday in January has become widely known as “Quitters Day”, or the day which many of us give up on the goals we set just two weeks earlier. So what are the most common reasons you might have abandoned your resolutions?
They take too long to achieve
We often favour instant gratification over slow and steady progress. If a goal seems to be taking longer than you expected or you're not reaping the rewards of your hard work along the way, you might be inclined to give up altogether and choose what feels good and easy in the moment - even if it goes against your long-term aims.
But remember, discomfort and patience are non-negotiables when it comes to creating change. There will be times when it feels easier to give up, but if you can persist through these moments, this is where the change and growth occurs.
If you’ve been focusing on your health and fitness goals this year but feel like you’re not making any progress - don’t be disheartened. There are some changes you’ll notice almost instantaneously while other signs of progress won’t be visible until a few months in. Here’s our guide to tracking your progress. We promise you’re further along than you think!
You don’t believe you can do it
When you don’t truly believe you can achieve your goals you’ve set yourself, you’re more likely to quit somewhere along the way. For many of us, a lack of self-belief is holding us back from unlocking our true potential and in the tough moments, negative self-talk can start to creep in, especially if you’re not making progress as fast as you hoped.
Feeling this way is pretty common and takes strength and courage to overcome. If you’re struggling with your inner critic, you’re definitely not alone! But investing some time into cultivating self-belief and changing the way you talk to yourself is so important. We often don’t recognise what we’re truly capable of - talk to yourself like you would your best friend!
It’s a tricky process, but working on your self-belief is something that will reward you for months and years to come - and it can help you achieve your resolutions at the same time. If you truly believe you can do something, you’re much more able to commit the time, energy and effort required to make it happen!
You’re not flexible with your goals
If your goals are too rigid and you’re unwilling to adapt them, you could be setting yourself up for failure. It’s important to acknowledge that life happens and things rarely go to plan or turn out exactly as you expect them to. Remember to allow for some flexibility and adjustment when setting your goals - and check in with where you’re at along the way and make changes when you need to.
This also means not being afraid to pivot. Your health and fitness routine should ultimately make you feel energised, not drained, and we will always have your back if you want to change lanes and pursue a new goal that feels more meaningful!
Studies have shown setting flexible goals and being less attached to the outcome can help people achieve their resolutions while also improving overall wellbeing. Those who were more flexible with their goals were able to adapt and act logically, calmly and rationally in the face of day-to-day challenges and hardship. Flexible goals for the win!
You’re aiming for what you think you should want, not what you necessarily do want
The more internal the motivation behind our goals, the more likely we are to succeed. However, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, many of these tend to be externally driven.
It’s common to take inspiration from the people around us when setting resolutions, goals or direction, just like it’s common to set goals that are purely externally motivated, meaning you are only doing something to gain or avoid something in return. When your goals are externally motivated, you’re more likely to abandon them when things get tough.
Instead, it can help to set goals you are internally motivated to achieve, meaning you are performing an activity because you also enjoy it and find it rewarding, rather than only because you want to get something else out of it.
If you can tap into this intrinsic motivation, determination and persistence, you’re far more likely to reach the end destination and enjoy the journey along the way. When it comes to fitness, choosing a workout style you truly enjoy doing is the perfect place to start.
You’re just repeating old goals
Do you find yourself setting the same resolutions year after year, failing to achieve them, and then simply re-committing when a new year rolls around? When it comes to health-based resolutions, many of us commit to the same cyclical goals time and time again.
If you didn’t achieve your goal last year and are holding onto it, start by asking yourself if it still excites you. If the answer is no, ditch it and create a new goal! If yes, you might want to break your big goal down into smaller, more manageable and achievable tasks. For example, if you wanted to complete a 12-week Sweat program but didn’t quite get there, maybe you start by trying to complete a 6-week block first!
For strength training goals, you could aim to lift five or 10 kgs heavier on your bench press and deadlift by the end of the year. That’s something you can work towards and achieve if you’re willing to do the work!
Set goals your way
Given how hard they are to stick to, you may be wondering why set resolutions in the first place? For some people, the New Year offers a clean slate and a great opportunity to reflect on where they’re heading and where they want to go. For others, the New Year isn’t an ideal goal-setting time, but there can be a lot of pressure to set an intention for the year ahead when the clock strikes midnight.
Find what works for YOU
Whether New Year’s resolutions work for you or not, don’t forget that it’s okay to set goals or recommit to your resolutions at any point in the year. You don’t need to wait for a new year, a new month or even a new week to begin a goal (or pick up where you left off with a forgotten resolution). You can set a goal, new intention or focus any time you like.
Whether you feel like you’ve already failed your 2024 resolutions, you’re experiencing the waning of motivation, your year didn’t get off to the best start, or you’re wondering why on earth you committed to the goals you did, it’s not too late! Reset, rethink your focus and priorities, and recommit to the direction you want to travel in 2024. There’s no rule book for goal-setting and there’s nothing to say you have to set goals at a certain time and achieve them by a specific date.
So if you’re ready to re-establish your goals, and dive back into the pursuit of them, here are some tips for helping you stick it out and achieve your end goal this time around.
Remember why you began
Whenever you’re struggling or lacking in motivation, return to your ‘why’. Did you want to feel better? Healthier? More confident? Chances are, this goal hasn’t changed - even if your motivation levels have! Why would you abandon the pursuit of something you truly want or something incredibly important to you? If you can keep your ‘why’ in mind, you’ll find yourself much better equipped to overcome obstacles and dips in motivation. Let your ‘why’ fuel you through the more challenging times.
Focus on how you want to feel
When you’re unlocking your ‘why’, think about how you’ll feel when you achieve your goal. Instead of aiming for a certain outcome or material gain, remove the attachment and instead focus on the emotional side of things. If you can really tap into the joy, accomplishment or sense of pride you’ll feel from pursuing and achieving your goals , this will act as the best motivation of all.
Ask a friend or loved one for support and accountability
Sharing your goals with a friend or someone close to you can be a powerful way to stay on track. You could ask them to hold you accountable or even see if they want to get involved for an added dose of enjoyment and motivation! For example, if you’ve got a training goal in mind, a workout buddy could be the perfect thing to keep you going. You can motivate each other, train together, and push each other to hit your goals!
Identify where you went wrong in the past, and learn from it
If you’ve given up on your goals in the past or are already thinking about abandoning this year’s resolution, take some time to identify why this is happening. Are your goals too challenging or unrealistic? Do you need more support from others? Were your goals based on what you want, or on what you think you should want? Did you need to be better prepared?
Learn from what’s gone wrong and use it as an opportunity to grow and better prepare yourself for the next time you set yourself a target - and take these learnings on board so you give yourself every chance of success in the future! Remember, just because you didn’t do it the first time, does NOT mean you can't do it at all!
Make a plan
Never has the saying, “Failing to prepare means preparing to fail” been more accurate than when it comes to setting and achieving our goals. If you’re not willing to plan and prepare for how you’ll work towards your goals and targets, chances are you’ll never get there. For example, if you want to work on your fitness, you need to show up and get your workout done.
From joining the Sweat Community to finding a workout buddy to using the Planner to schedule in your weekly sessions, and even setting your alarm earlier to give you time to exercise… These are the sort of actions and planning required to make your goals possible! Planning is the key to success.
Set goals around what you truly want, not what you feel you should be aiming for
Don’t forget to make sure your goals centre around what YOU truly want for yourself and your life. The last thing you want to do is set resolutions that are dictated or influenced by external pressures or expectations. You’re far more likely to succeed if your goals are intrinsically motivated and truly important to you. If you really feel the desire to achieve them, you’ll be much more motivated, consistent and committed in the pursuit of your goals. Focus on what matters to you, not to the people around you.
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* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.