9 Secrets of Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Every January, millions of well-intentioned people set New Year’s resolutions with the aim of
improving their health. Unfortunately, research has shown that resolutions fail about 75% of the
time. As time passes, we lose motivation, or work and family obligations get in the way of
achieving our goals.

Resolutions might have a high failure rate, but there are steps you can take to ensure you’re
one of the 25% of people who stick to them. Recent studies in the field of psychology continue
to unveil the secrets of successful goal setting.
Whatever your health resolution might be – to exercise more, lose weight, or eat better – use
these tips to keep your resolution in 2019.

Start early. With the new year comes a fresh start. Many people find that a new year motivates
them to begin new habits. Take advantage of the January motivation by taking action to achieve
your resolution right away. For most people, new routines become habits within about two
months. By beginning in January, you ensure a newer, healthier you by springtime.

Be realistic. Be honest with yourself. While goals should challenge you, set realistic
expectations. If you work a sedentary job and haven’t exercised in years, don’t pressure
yourself to run a six-minute mile within a couple of months. Consider personal obligations you
might need to prioritize over your resolution. If you’re trying to run a household on top of working
a full-time job, start small: you don’t need to hit the gym every day for hours at a time. Instead,
begin with a small goal you know you can achieve like visiting the gym for a half hour after work
three times a week or meditating for five minutes five nights a week. Once your new routine
becomes a habit, you can increase your goal to keep up the challenge.

Set specific, measurable goals. Before you begin working on your resolution, make sure
you’ve set a specific goal that includes an objective measure of success. Often, resolutions fail
because they’re too vague. If you want to “get fit” or “exercise more,” consider how you want to
define “fit” or “more.” Your improved resolution might look something like this: “run a
seven-minute mile”; “work out at the gym for one hour three times a week”; or “limit sugary
Starbucks purchases to once a week.”

Set small goals along the way. Once you’ve set a specific, measurable goal, consider
breaking your resolution down into even smaller steps. When you achieve smaller goals
throughout 2019, you’ll feel proud and motivated to continue toward that bigger goal. Let’s say
you want to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year. Start small by aiming to lose one to two
pounds each week. Baby steps will keep you motivated, and starting small can also benefit your
health. According to the CDC, research suggests that weight is more likely to stay off if you lose
it gradually.

Make your goal accessible. In his 2018 New York Times’s best-selling book, entrepreneur
James Clear explains the science of forming new habits and breaking bad ones. Atomic Habits
underscores the importance of making a goal easy and accessible. If you want to eat healthier,
choose one day a week to prep your vegetables so you can easily reach for them when hunger
cravings strike – and keep sweets out of the house. Aiming to lose weight? Keep your work desk
well-supplied with healthy, low-calorie snacks. If you want to workout, pack your gym bag before
you go to work so you’re not tempted to go home first and get distracted from your goal.

Reward yourself. In Atomic Habits, Clear recommends finding intrinsic motivation by paying
attention to the benefits you’re getting from working toward your goal. If you want to exercise
more, be mindful of the improved sleep that comes with working out – or the runner’s high you
get from hitting the trail. Or you might enjoy the increased energy you have from a healthier diet.
If you want to reward yourself further, try tracking your goals using a spreadsheet or calendar –
either on the computer or the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper. Every time you stick to
your goal, mark your achievement on the tracker. When you visualize your hard work, you’ll feel
motivated to continue.

Buddy up. People who workout with a friend exercise more often than those who go at it solo,
according to the results of a 2016 study. If you’re an extrovert, the benefits of teaming up may
be even more pronounced. Set goals together and hold each other accountable. Use your Apple
watch – if you own one – to challenge your friend to a friendly competition. Going to the gym will
help you achieve your fitness goals, and the increased social interaction may also boost your
mental well-being.

Be Your Own Friend. Most of us use kind, tactful language when speaking to a friend.
Unfortunately, we often forget to speak kindly to ourselves. While friends might encourage us,
our most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. Be mindful of the internal
dialogue you have about yourself, your abilities, and your body. Remind yourself that your goal
aims toward a healthier you, not an unattainably perfect physique. If you veer off your goal, get
yourself back on track – but remember not to punish yourself. Consider what you might say to
your best friend if he or she was feeling discouraged or made a mistake. Now say it to yourself.

Take the first step. Going to the gym for the first time – or the first time in a long time – can be
intimidating. That first step into a new environment can be the scariest. Rest assured: at
Medford Fitness, we’re here to answer your questions and help you feel comfortable.
Our friendly, professional personal training staff stands poised to help you achieve your goals.
Not sure if Medford Fitness is right for you? Take advantage of our limited-time offer for a free
21-day trial membership. No purchase is required, so you’ve got nothing to lose (except those
pesky holiday pounds).

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, sleep better, or just improve your health, we invite you to
contact us today by calling (609) 654-1440. Kickstart 2019 with our no-obligation, 21-day free
trial. Your New Year’s resolution just got one step closer to success.