Here are some eye-opening statistics on New Year’s resolutions.
- The top 3 U.S. New Year’s resolutions for 2022 were all fitness-related; exercise more (48%), eat healthier (44%), and lose weight (41%) (as per a Statista survey).
- Out of the 41% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, only 9% feel they were successful in keeping them (as per a 2016 report).
- Around 80% of people abandon their New Year resolutions by the 2nd week of February.
So why do the numbers look bleak?
It’s because it’s hard to change our habits, especially when it comes to fitness and health.
But don’t give up just yet cause we have a few tricks up our sleeve.
Here are 7 hacks to make your New Year fitness resolutions work!
But first, let’s take a look at…
Why New Year’s fitness resolutions fail
1. Your goals are unrealistic/vague
As per a 2014 study, 35% of participants couldn’t stick to their New Year’s Resolutions because their goals were UNREALISTIC.
For instance, if you’ve never set foot in a gym before, setting a goal of hitting the gym 5 times a week is completely unrealistic.
Setting vague goals like “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to exercise more” is another reason why New Year's resolutions fail.
2. You try to change multiple things simultaneously
Say you want to lose weight. Your research tells you that you should cut down the carbs, eat more whole foods, drink more water, etc., etc.
Now if you try to incorporate all of these new habits overnight, you’re setting yourself up for failure. But instead, if you try to make one positive change each week, say eat more fruits and veggies the first week, drink more water from week 2, etc., chances of sticking to your resolutions go up.
3. Your resolutions are not personal
When you set a resolution of “I will do intermittent fasting for 5 months”, don’t do it just because all your buddies are doing it or someone expects you to do it.
Do it because you are determined to lose those extra pounds you gained during pregnancy or to get rid of that beer belly. Unless your resolution is personal to you, you are 100% going to lose interest and motivation in pursuing those goals.
4. You lack patience
A lot of us expect to see results FAST. You join a gym or a fitness class in January. You go regularly for a month or two. You don’t see much improvement and then call it quits. Disaster!
When it comes to fitness and health, you need to understand that it takes TIME and EFFORT. You can’t undo months of overeating or a sedentary lifestyle overnight. So be patient with yourself and the results will follow.
7 Hacks to make your new year fitness resolutions work
Here’s how you can achieve your fitness goals in 2023.
1. Set SMART goals
Setting a goal such as “I want to lose weight” is not going to get you anywhere. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-framed.
An example of a SMART goal for weight loss could be: I will walk for 45 minutes thrice a week to lose 12 pounds in 3 months.
Now if this goal seems too far away or hard, you can break it down into short-term goals and process goals. For the above example, your short-term goals could be losing 6 pounds in the first month and then 3 pounds each in months 2 and 3.
Your process goals (in case you’ve never walked before) could be to walk 20 minutes a day for 2 weeks and then keep adding 5 minutes to your walk every week after that.
2. Add some variety to your workouts
A lot of us find it hard to stick to our New Year’s resolution simply because of BOREDOM. This is why we recommend switching up your exercise routine often. In fact, research shows that people who vary their workout routine enjoy it more and are highly likely to stick to it.
So you could go for a walk one day, do Yoga another, and lift weights on another day. You could even try your hand at a group class, be it CrossFit, Zumba, barre, or kickboxing. Pick an activity that gets you off your butt and excited to work out every day!
You might also like: How To Stay Fit During Winter And Hit Summer With A Toned Body
3. Have a Plan B
Real life is complicated.
You might be all set to head out to the gym when you get a work call. Or your kid falls sick. Or it starts pouring.
That’s when you execute Plan B. You could do some Yoga or get your cardio on with an at-home HIIT workout. If you have resistance bands, then you can do a kick-ass strength training session right at home.
4. Write down your goals
While this might sound trivial, research shows that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you WRITE them down!
So write your fitness resolution down and post it in a hard-to-miss spot. It could be your bedroom wall, your fridge, your mirror, or anywhere that you please.
If social media is your thing, then go ahead and post your goal and your weekly/monthly progress for your friends to see. Nothing like some words of encouragement from your buddies to fuel you up.
You might be interested in: 10 People To Follow On Instagram If You Are A Fitness Freak
5. Don’t do it yourself
Studies show that people who have the support of friends or family members lost more weight than people without support. And the best part? 66% of these people were able to keep the weight off after 10 months compared to only 24% of people who had no support.
So for all those days when you feel like throwing in the towel, having a support system- be it your friend, spouse, or colleague – may be just what you need to keep you going.
You could also get your friend to work out with you for some extra motivation and to hold you accountable.
6. Set up your environment for success
Making a fitness resolution often involves changing your habits (like waking up extra early for your workout). Changing habits can be super hard when you have to keep making decisions about those habits every day (our brains are hardwired to take the path of least resistance).
So, switch things up in your environment so that it is as easy as possible for you to change your habits.
For instance, pack your gym clothes the night before so you don’t have to figure out what to wear in the morning. Prep your veggies in advance, so that you don’t eat a bag of chips after your workout. Whatever it takes!
In the words of James Clear, “The single biggest change that will make a new habit easier is performing it in an environment that is designed to make that habit succeed.”
We’ve saved the best for last.
Here’s the #1 proven hack to make your New Year’s resolutions work…
7. Use the Implementation Intention formula
Don’t let the lofty title scare you. It’s simple, really.
An Implementation intention is “a plan you make beforehand about when and where to act.”
If you’re someone who doesn’t regularly exercise but wants to do so this year, write down a statement like this:
“I will [insert exercise] every [day of week] for [X] minutes at [X] time in [location].”
Choose a day, time, and location based on what you can realistically make work and stick to it no matter what happens.
So your implementation intention could look like this:
I will lift weights every Tuesday for 30 minutes at 6:00 AM at the gym on the next street.
If for some unavoidable reason you can’t make it one week, use the “if-then” strategy. For instance, “If I miss my Tuesday gym workout, then I will exercise on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM at home.”
Studies have shown that this formula can significantly increase your chances of sticking to your goal (up to 91%!) Now is that good news or what? 😊
Fitness resolution ideas
This year, instead of making resolutions that are tough to achieve, why not make ones that are sustainable and long-term?
Here are a few New Year resolution ideas for 2023. Resolve to…
1. Stop following diet fads and quick-fix training plans
None of these too-good-to-believe magic pills for weight loss work. Even if they do temporarily, you can be sure you’ll gain those kilos right back.
2. Increase your water consumption
Did you know that not drinking enough water can affect your mood, concentration, physical performance, and more?
So, just skip the energy drinks and make a resolution to drink at least the daily minimum of 2 liters of water a day (more if you train regularly).
3. Practice balance and moderation
Don’t try to deprive yourself of all your favorite foods. Instead, eat everything in moderation.
Follow the 80-20 rule of eating – 80% of calories from more nutritious food (veggies, whole foods) and 20% from your favorite treats.
4. Amp up your NEAT
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT describes the calories we burn by going about our regular activities.
Make a conscious effort to MOVE MORE. This could include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking short distances instead of driving, practicing squats and lunges while doing your household chores, etc.
Here are a few more fitness resolution ideas:
- Train for a marathon
- Learn a new fitness activity
- Sleep and wake up early
- Avoid your phone for 1 hour before bed
- Cook more meals at home
New year resolution fitness quotes
Here are a few motivational New Year resolution fitness quotes that’ll get you pumped!
- Fitness is not about the weight you lose, it’s about the life you gain.
- Don't look for motivation. find your WHY, then no excuses will come between you and your goals.
- Don't fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.
- There is no shortcut. It takes time to create a better, stronger version of yourself.
- You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
For more inspirational fitness quotes, check out our blog post here.
We hope these hacks will help you make your New Year fitness resolutions a reality. And if you need some premium-quality fitness gear to help you achieve your fitness goals, then browse through Burnlab’s fitness equipment today!
What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2023? Let us know in the comments below!