Are New Year’s Resolutions Just Procrastination?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

We all know that New Year’s resolutions are notorious for being the most quickly-forgotten goals most people set. Plus, they’re infamously difficult to stick with in the long-term! Surveys show that almost 50 percent of people give up on their New Year’s resolution by the end of January.

There are many ways to combat this trend that people have thought of – such as pre-resolutions. Pre-resolutions allow people to let go of the false beliefs that delaying the start of your health journey is somehow beneficial to achieving their goals. 

Let’s get one thing straight – setting goals is always a good idea. That being said, most people are unsuccessful with their New Year’s resolutions because they simply don’t have a clear plan and path they can follow to work toward them. 

Big-picture, massive-change, vague resolutions such as eating clean or getting in shape are not helpful in the least because they don’t give you any specifics as to how to move toward that goal. They don’t create the sustainable change necessary to facilitate a lifestyle change.

Beyond this, if you’re just someone who wants to lose weight or maintain your current weight, you’re much better off starting before January. 

According to surveys, holiday weight gain accounts for about 1 pound per year… and most people don’t lose it, which makes this big stretch form Thanksgiving throughout the Christmas holidays a massive contributor to weight gain.

That’s why starting right now with a list of pre-resolutions will help you walk out the holidays as fit as you came in (and actually gain some momentum for the New Year.) 

Here’s how to get started with pre-resolutions.

Don’t gravitate toward vague statements like “I have to lose 10 pounds” which is what most people do when creating resolutions. Instead, work on imagining your best self and ask yourself questions…

How would you like to look, feel, and perform a year from now? What steps are you going to take to make that dream body a reality or crush that personal record? Write it down and create a vision board that helps you organize and put the pieces together in your mind. 

Get as specific as possible, including categories such as nutrition goals, new fitness habits, self-care practices, all the good stuff. 

Write everything down, and then spend some time writing why you actually want to get there. What does performing well, looking good, or staying healthy mean to you? Who else – besides you – is going to benefit if you live out your vision? 

Begin self-tracking. 

If you’re looking for easy ways you can automatically improve your training and eating habits… just start tracking them! Whether it’s with a smartphone or watch, all you need to do is bring a higher level of consciousness to every choice you make toward the day. When you put everything into numbers, every chocolate square you take starts to weigh a lot more (figuratively.)

Many resolutions fail precisely because they’re not realistic in relation to the actual metrics and numbers you want achieved. Don’t make that mistake and you’ll be well on your way to gaining massive momentum for the New Year. 

Focus on the process – and trust it. 

After you’ve imagined the ideal outcome for your new mini resolutions, and set that as your starting point, focus on what you need to do to make them a reality. By doing this, you’ll take the power out of this arbitrary endpoint and put the power in your hands and your ability to adopt new healthy practices.  

Transform that pie-in-the-sky goal into a SMART goal – one that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Don’t focus on losing 40 pounds, focus on losing 4 pounds a month… a safe and productive weight-loss target.

Frame your days with reflection and intention. 

If you want to make your resolutions something to stick with in the long term, make your pre-resolutions simple things such as adding a healthy morning breakfast or new evening routines to your day. For a positive start of every day, making a brief list of your intentions and reading it to yourself will boost you with energy and gratitude. 

At the end of your days and weeks, take time to reflect on your daily progress and celebrate your successes. Progress is not linear – that’s why you have to check in with yourself every single day and acknowledge the steps forward. 

One of your little pre-resolutions can be to treat yourself whenever you achieve something meaningful – or whenever you just successfully check off all your boxes for the day. Reprogramming your mind is an effective way to change your life, and if you’re truly honest with yourself, you deserve some accolades. 

Don’t be afraid to celebrate your milestones, rewarding yourself with new fitness gear or gadgets that make your journey easier. I don’t recommend treating yourself with food as this will only lead to putting the wrong labels on things.

The biggest and most common reason resolutions fail is because they’re mostly created with an all-in mentality. And if you add the challenges of the holidays such as stress, travel, social demands, and food and alcohol temptations, it’s no wonder most of them fail.  

That’s where pre-resolutions come in to help. They’re not about being perfect, they’re about slowly and gradually creating the change you want instead of going all-in on a new training variant or diet. They’re about following the 80/20 rule and making healthy strides toward a better outcome every day.

They’re about creating balance without overindulging and depriving yourself, and that’s the best advice you could ever get when it comes to achieving your fitness goals.