Why New Year Resolutions Don’t Work and What To Do About It!

Let’s be honest, New Year Resolutions have a reputation for not working.

However, SOME people do manage to keep their resolutions! Often through sheer willpower alone!

Fortunately, there is a better way to make New Year Resolutions stick and in this article I will outline for you some very simple, but powerful methods for making your New Year Resolutions work… this time!

Let’s take a common resolution… “I want to lose 12 pounds”

To do this you’ve probably started a diet, joined a gym and maybe thought about up to a dozen other things you can do to lose that weight!

But here’s what generally happens, after a month or so it starts to become all too much. Going to the gym feels more like a chore than a pleasure. Eating a restricted diet is a bore! And though you might be feeling some results – you are beginning to doubt you can ever sustain your progress OR your progress just feels too slow! And like, it’s gonna take foreverrrrr man!

My suggestion to you right now, is simply to chunk it down i.e. put that resolution into bite size pieces.

What do I mean by that?

Well, you need to FOCUS on ONE thing at a time!

Don’t try to change everything overnight! If you are overweight it won’t just be one ‘habit’ you need to break. You will need to break several AND replace them with new empowering ones!

Trying to do too much at once can ultimately cause you to sabotage yourself. So find ONE thing you can do, something as specific as possible!

Ask yourself – “What’s one thing I can do consistently for a month that will help me lose weight?”

Suppose you decide to eat a restrictive diet. If you’re anything like me – by late afternoon I am usually ravenous and what I really want is a cookie!

So, here’s a possible ‘chunking down’ of our original resolution…

“How can I stop myself eating so many cookies?”

Now we have some very specific indeed to work with!

And now we can create an ACTION PLAN around eliminating cookies from our diet.

Maybe we’d call it our ‘Eat No Cookies Action Plan!’

We could list all the actions we need to take – just to stop eating cookies!

  • Step One: Clear out all the cookies in the house and replace with healthy, tasty snacks
  • Step Two: Schedule my day that so I eat healthy meals at around the typical times I start craving cookies.
  • Step Three: Ask myself, what need am I meeting by eating cookies? How can I get that need better met?
  • Step Four: How can I celebrate and reward myself every day/week I live without cookies! (a non-food reward – obviously!)

Do you see how when we chunked down the rather large resolution, (I want to lose 12 pounds) we got very strategic, dealt not just with ‘how to’ but also thought what NEEDS the cookies were fulfilling psychologically,  and created a plan that might actually cure us of eating cookies forever!

And once we’ve cracked that one… we a) have a plan for all our other food cravings  and b) we have a STRATEGY for creating long-term success with all the other things we want to do to make our New Year Resolutions a success!

Key Take-Away: Don’t try to do too much at once. Get really FOCUSED on something very specific that will move you towards achieving your goal and create a comprehensive ACTION PLAN that covers all the bases!


Remember, if you want change in your life….
The Change Begins With YOU!

Robin J Emdon






Robin J Emdon
Life Coach &
Network Marketing Professional

Skype: lifemaestro
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  • Ruthida Namubiru

    Hi Robin,

    This is great advice that can be applied in almost all our areas of life. I agree that if we are to make significant changes, we need to do it in small manageable and prioritized bits or we get over whelmed!

    I am sure you are managing your new years resolutions well 🙂

    Happy 2013!


    • Robin J

      Hey Ruthida,

      Thank you for your comment and yes absolutely, this can be applied to ALL aspects of your life, not just once a year for New Year resolutions.


  • Hey Robin,

    You know what’s funny about resolutions man? People are already breaking them!

    The first week I started jogging for my health, the place I went was literally PACKED with people doing exercise.

    The second week, it was about 60% of the people I saw the first week.

    Right now on the third week, it’s almost back to what it was before… sure, there is still more people than before the New Year’s Eve but I think it will completely get back to normal for February or possibly mid-February.

    I don’t think that resolutions don’t work per se but I do believe that you have to have a stronger, rock-solid motivation in order to succeed at your new goals than just making up a resolution for new year and trying to stick to it.

    Really great article man and I also loved the suggestion of taking it easy and one thing at a time, slow and steady, wins the race!


    • Hi Sergio!

      Yeah – January 15th seems to be the key date when resolutions start falling apart. Thanks for your very eloquent illustration of that very point!

      Your comment is greatly valued.


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