How to Make Your Resolutions Last All Year

If you haven’t been able to make your resolutions last all year in the past, then perhaps it’s your mindset or planning that’s caused it to fail. We look into how the differences between having a resolution or goal can affect this. In addition to exploring how to do this and offer tips for success in 2023.




As an aim for the New Year as a whole, resolutions rub us up the wrong way. Purely because they typically consist of a person’s desire to change what they don’t like about themselves, thereby focusing on the negative removal of something from your life, over the positive/what could be gained.


Added to the fact that it’s as if there’s some magical motivation that occurs in the first few days of the January that doesn’t exist any other time, and if it’s missed then that’s it – another year wasted. Next year will be the one.


Many of us feel so peer pressured to change at this time. When that doesn’t come from a place of true desire then of course they don’t last!


The definition of resolutions gives the impression that there’s no room for failure, they are a decision to do or not do something – doesn’t sound very encouraging does it.


Resolutions are broad, very general things you’d like to change in your life. It’s an open-ended promise or wish for a direction. You might be making the same ‘get fit’ or ‘be healthier’ resolutions only to set them once again the following year. That’s not exactly helpful.


A study found that 80% of resolutions set at New Year fail.


This makes us believe that it’s the planning of what your resolutions are along with the forced desire to do them which gives them such a high failure rate. 




These on the other hand are specific (or they should be), are adaptable and based on what you want to achieve. It’s a simple switch to focus on the positive – what you’re gaining this year, over the negative – what you’re losing.  


Goals, if set correctly should be S.M.A.R.T. You may have come across this acronym before. It essentially helps you figure out the why behind your goals and ensures you can track your progress through the year, break it down into manageable steps and ultimately means you achieve more.


The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timeline


When you answer the following questions with your goals you manage to create a skeleton plan of what you’re wanting to achieve. Not just some general resolution that relies on waking up one day and being that best version of you, without room for slip ups or setbacks.


Specific: What exactly are your goals? Narrow them down into segments and see how they’re linked if they feel too broad.

Measurable: In what way are you going to ensure that your end goal is achieved in smaller steps? How can you quantify your progress in daily, weekly, or monthly stages?

Attainable: Is your goal realistic, you aren’t going to see change overnight, and we’re all different, you know yourself better than anyone. Is this goal realistic for you? How will you cope if you don’t reach these intermediary deadlines?

Relevant: How will achieving this goal change you or your life? Who’s this goal for?

Timeline: In what timeframe do you see yourself achieving this goal? Go further and work backwards to answer what deadline you can give yourself for each measurable step, and see if that is realistic for you. 


Once you have written all these down you’ll have a plan to achieve your goal!


Goals can also be set using the 5 W’s method: What, Where, Who, Why, When. These are fairly self-explanatory but follow similar questions to the above to help you unpack a plan to achieve your goal.


Our Tips for Success:


What I realise from this is that it’s not so much what term you use for your aims for the New Year but it’s the perspective you have on it. Giving yourself a break if you have a setback, put planning first, and connecting to it more than the superficial, pressured ‘because it’s a new year’.


I think that it’s important to remember throughout the pursuit of your desires, regardless of if you set a New Year’s Resolution or Goal, that there’s a certain amount of reframing you need to do in order to be successful.


If your aims for this year are fitness related, I believe that the term ‘get fitter’ is a resolution, as it’s unspecific and ultimately a journey that has no end – it’s a development of a new lifestyle. Whereas having underlying goals about what type of fitness achievements you want to make does have an end. Being able to pinpoint the end of your resolutions is vital to staying determined on the path of success. You can quite literally see yourself getting closer.


That comes in 4 steps:


  1. Planning – Goals involve more planning than resolutions but some say resolutions are built up of goals. Either way the preparation involved gives you a clear direction, and strengthens your ability to achieve them.
  2. Accountability – When you’re really intentional about achieving your desires, become intentional about sharing them. This could be social media, with colleagues, friends or family. Putting them out into the world makes them a reality, and not just for you, this results in more accountability than on your own.
  3. Connection – Understand why you’re doing it. When you have a deeper emotional connection to a goal that you’re more likely to stick to it. If you can figure out that meaningful link to your New Year’s Resolution or Goal and it most importantly comes from a place of self-love then this will secure your success. Answer questions like: what does my life look like while I’m working to my goal? What does my life look like when I achieve my goal?
  4. Maintaining Commitment – Consider what works best for you. You should be kind to yourself through the journey to success and trust the process that you have built. You’ll get there by staying consistent but not punishing yourself for mistakes. Rather than overlooking small steps, recognise and celebrate them and you’ll renew your motivation to get to the end goal.


Final Thoughts:


Although I work in a gym/fitness business, I don’t actually like the premise of New Year’s Resolutions. I would much rather take the position of having every new day, each waking moment, as a chance to start fresh. To pursue your best self.


Why? Because even if you fail, you can always try again. Which if your aim is to be fitter, is the most important lesson. Bailing on that lift doesn’t mean you give up or that’s where your journey ends. Stopping to walk on one of your 5k attempts doesn’t mean you can’t complete it. It just means it’s time to re-adjust the plan and keep going.


Written by Connie Summerfield


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Liked this? Why not checkout our blog: How to Start Exercising in a Gym to Improve Mental Health

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