Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions (And why it's perfectly okay not to make one!)

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Ah, New Year's Day. The time when so many of us make resolutions that we keep for approximately three weeks. Maybe 2021 will be different, right? Well, that depends on whether or not YOU put in the effort to make it different.

We're giving you some tips and tricks to keep your New Year's resolutions. And spoiler alert: it's perfectly fine not to make any resolutions at all.

Why Do We Make New Year's Resolutions?

Making resolutions for a new year isn't a new concept. Humans have been making New Year's resolutions for more than 4,000 years, dating back to ancient Babylonia. Of course, these resolutions were promises to the gods rather than promises to steer clear of carbs. Still, we have a long history of committing to making our lives better in the year ahead.

Why do we make these resolutions? And why at the New Year? It makes perfect sense psychologically, according to experts. The New Year represents a fresh start, a clean slate, and a chance to start another trip around the sun with big goals and dreams for a healthier, happier year.

Resolutions range from getting healthy to paying off debt, starting a business, volunteering, or eating more vegetables. No matter what your New Year's resolution, statistics tell us you're not likely to follow through for very long.

Why So Many Resolutions Fail

An estimated 40-45% of all Americans will make a New Year's Resolution this year. Nearly 60% of those resolutions revolve around getting healthy: working out more, eating healthier, and focusing on physical or mental wellbeing. However, about 80% of us will abandon those resolutions before spring.

Why? There's no easy answer. For some, failure comes because they've created unrealistic or unobtainable goals. For others, it's a lack of willpower or desire to make lasting change. Or maybe you made a half-hearted resolution simply because you felt pressured by others sharing their goals on social media.

Fitness and Health: How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

If you are ready to make significant changes to your health, there are some tips to help you keep your promise to yourself.

1. Set Clear and Achievable Goals

Success needs to be measurable. If you set unrealistic expectations (Get into the best shape of my life! Eat nothing but lean chicken and kale! Work out every day for 365 days!), you're probably going to fail. No one is perfect, and we need to give ourselves room to, well, be human.

Set clear goals, but make them realistic and achievable. Maybe that's "try to set new PRs in the gym" or "eat meatless meals more often than I do now." Small changes can lead to big success. And you're more likely to reach that success when you set the bar a little lower.

2. Make A Plan

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Carve out time in your day to make things happen. Write down your workout schedule a week in advance. Plan healthy meals and snacks, and prep your food ahead of time. Give yourself a head start to success by making your health and fitness goals a priority.

3. Dress For Success

Simply putting on your workout clothing can shift your brain into exercise mode, say researchers. Psychologically, putting on your activewear signals your brain and body that a workout is coming, making you more likely to follow through on that action.

And let's face it: with many of us continuing to work from home, we can pretty much put on our favorite shorties the moment we get out of bed and be ready for a workout all day long.

4. Find A Buddy

Multiple studies show that having an accountability partner can significantly increase your chances of success. Surround yourself with positive influences who can push you to hit the gym when you don't feel like it. You'll keep one another on track and help each other keep those resolutions.

5. Make It Fun

If you absolutely dread your workout or your healthy eating plan, you're not going to stick to it, period. Find something you love to do, whether it be lifting, dancing, running, or biking. And find recipes that you love to eat. You're more likely to reach your health and fitness goals if you look forward to your workouts and the meals that follow.

Why It's Okay to NOT Make a Resolution This Year

Finally - and I think SO many women need to hear this after an especially trying year – it's perfectly okay to NOT make a New Year's Resolution. Many of us spent 2020 simply trying to keep our heads above water. Let's celebrate the fact that we made it to another year and agree that making resolutions isn't necessary.

In fact, there are some pretty damn good reasons to not make New Year's resolutions.

Whether you choose to bring in the New Year with new goals in mind or choose just to drink the bubbly and tell 2020 good riddance, know that you are valid and valued. Whatever 2021 holds in store for you, we'll be here to cheer you on.


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