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Resolution Better — 5 Tips For Making Successful New Year’s Resolutions In 2015

Every January, after everyone finishes recovering from their New Year’s festivities, gyms around the world become flooded with a rush of new members. The reality though is that by March or April, the majority of those new gym members will have reverted back to their old ways.

There’s a very good chance that you’re personally guilty of that or know someone who broke their New Year’s resolution just months later.

Why do so many people fail to maintain their New Year’s resolution(s)?

This is fitness, not rocket science…c’mon people, as Nike says — “just do it.” Well, not quite…that’s part of the reason so many people fail to meet their goals (more on that later). Ultimately, most people think change is as easy as making a resolution, going to the gym, and/or changing their diet; when in reality there’s a bit more to it to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success rather than failure.

Use these 5 tips to set better New Year’s resolutions and succeed in 2015.


5 Tips For Make Successful New Year’s Resolutions


1. Make SMART Goals.

SMART is an acronym for goal setting. It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

  • Specific: Workout at the gym → go to the gym 3x/week for 45 minutes each time.
  • Measurable: Look better naked → lose 3″ from my waist.
  • Attainable:  Pretty self explanatory. If you’ve never stepped in a gym before you will likely not be ready for fitness model photo shoots in 3 months. Set expectations correctly.
  • Relevant: Make sure your goal is relevant to your long-term goal. It wouldn’t be a relevant goal to lift maximal weights every week if your long-term goal is to run a marathon.
  • Timely: What is the time frame for completing your goal? Set a countdown, but remember to be realistic.


2. Take It Slowly.

Although we live in a society desiring instant gratification, improving your health, fitness, and physique all take time. Rushing into a hardcore training regimen and completely overhauling your diet are surefire ways to revert back to your old lifestyle.

Try to make one or two small steps in the direction of your goal each week. For instance: one week you could have a goal of going to the gym twice that week for 30 minutes. The following week, you could increase that to 35 minutes, and the week after that perhaps increase the duration to 40 minutes.

Perhaps “just do it” isn’t the best motto in this case.


3. Track Your Progress.

This serves two purposes: primarily it functions to keep you honest about whether you’re meeting your goals, and secondly it allows you to evaluate your plan.

If your goal is to improve your body composition, track weekly changes in your average weight and body fat %. If one of your goals is simply to go to the gym 3x/week for 45 minutes, keep a calendar and put an “X” for every day you went to the gym.


4. Be Flexible.

Don’t beat yourself up if life manages to get in the way and you start having difficulty meeting your New Year’s resolution. Perhaps you started a new job or you’re in the middle of a move and haven’t made it to the gym in a week — this is NOT the time to give up.

All too often, you see people get a bit off course from their intended plan and that becomes the stimulus to permanently derail it. Don’t look at these situations as a failure, that’s life. Managing both “life” and this new lifestyle gets easier with time, but in the beginning just roll with the punches.


5. Have Support.

Undertaking any big project alone is…well, stupid. Having a support network of close friends and family can make a huge difference. Utilize these people to help keep you on track and remind you why you’re doing this when you’re ready to give up. It’s ok to say, “I need your help…”

And don’t be afraid to ask for specific areas of assistance. If you’re trying to watch what you eat and a known issue for you is overeating in social situations, tell [insert support person] to help keep you on track.

As it turns out, New Year’s resolutions are a bit more complicated than most people make them out to be. Not quite at the level of complexity of rocket science, but nonetheless something that requires some attention and planning. The choice is yours: successfully embark on your fitness journey or become a statistic.

Joshua Nackenson

Joshua Nackenson

Contributing Author at Lean It UP
Joshua Nackenson, CSCS, is a medical student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with a passion for all things related to fitness and nutrition.

His primary athletic focus is powerlifting, where he competes in the 165lb and 181lb weight classes. In between powerlifting training and competitions, he stays fit by competing in local 5ks and Tough Mudder events.
Joshua Nackenson

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