Turning Your New Year’s Resolutions into Long-term Lifestyle changes


Lorenzo Ipsumo

Jan 5, 2022
It’s a new year, which means new goals for yourself. Typically, people’s number 1 resolution is getting fit and fixing their nutrition. Obviously, this is a great goal to have, as it can significantly improve your health, as well as your physique. However, sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in achieving the goal, that you resort to quick fixes instead of long-term, sustainable, lifestyle changes. In fact, on average, 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. If you don’t want to be a part of that statistic, check out these 8 ways to make your resolutions stick for the long haul.

Be Specific

The first issue that people run into when they’re setting their resolutions is being too vague. While “exercising more” and “eating better” are great, it doesn’t give you any sort of benchmarks to gauge your success or keep your motivation. Instead, try setting numerical goals or smaller goals that can be achieved in a certain amount of time. For example, you could say “I would like to lose 10 lbs in three months” or, “I want to incorporate one new vegetable in my meals per week.”

Set Reasonable Goals

Another reason that resolutions fail and are never lifestyle changes is that people often set unreasonable or unrealistic goals. If you are trying to lose weight, telling yourself you want to lose 50 lbs in one month, or cutting out all foods besides healthy, from-the-ground food will likely set you up for failure. If you’re not sure what a reasonable goal is for yourself, speak to professionals like your doctor and a certified nutritionist to help.

As a starting point, choose one behavior that you would like to change. Trying to change too much can alter your life too significantly and cause you to feel overwhelmed.

Prioritize Accountability

Achieving your goals by yourself is awesome, but it can be hard to maintain long-term. If you’re able to, it’s always great to have an accountability buddy. Whether it’s your friend from work or an entire fitness group class, it helps to have someone cheering you on and attending workouts/eating healthy with you. Just remember to not compare yourself to your accountability partner, because this is about your life and journey, not theirs.

Utilize Positive Framing

This may not sound like a big deal, but positively framing your resolutions and lifestyle goals is crucial for success. If your resolution is to “stop eating poorly,” try reframing to say “Start eating better, nutrient-dense foods.” This small change will help you if you ever have wavering days and struggle with your goal. It won’t be the end of the world, and you can get back on track without feeling like you failed.

In contrast, if you were to stick with a negative framing, you’re likely to feel discouraged if you fall off, even a little. That feeling is what causes resolutions to cease and prevents them from ever becoming a long-term lifestyle.

Be Patient

Being patient is difficult, but if you’re truly looking for a lifestyle change instead of a quick fix, you’ll need to understand that your exercise, eating habits, and body won’t completely change overnight.

Complete Exercises You Like

One way to stay consistent is to do things you like! Shocker, I know. If you hate swim class or yoga, but love spin class or CrossFit, choose a spin class or CrossFit! Forcing yourself to attend workouts you hate will only lead to burnout. That isn’t to encourage you to give up as soon as a workout is hard, because that is a completely different story, and workouts are hard, but if you find yourself consistently dreading something specific, you have the power to change it.

Keep The Foods You Love

Eating healthy is great, but if you’re a person that has had chocolate ice cream as your after-dinner dessert for as long as you remember and then you try to cut it out entirely as part of your resolution, you’re likely setting yourself up for failure. It’s okay to incorporate foods that aren’t “healthy.” In fact, taking the good and bad label off of foods will help you in the long term. Moderation is key here.

Try New Things

With time, exercising and eating healthy can get repetitive. So if you’re looking for long-term changes, be willing to try new exercises and new food! Keeping things different will give you something to look forward to.

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