How To Actually Keep Your New Years Resolutions

By December 30, 2015Live

The bullet-proof, 5-step plan.

One year passed and another has begun. How this past year flew by so fast, I have no idea, but it’s a reality we have to accept. Along with the new year often comes the inevitable new years resolutions.

I get the whole concept of new years resolutions…”new year, new you” right? But frankly, new years resolutions are a bunch of bullsh*t, in my opinion. It’s just like saying “I’m starting my diet on Monday!” or “Next semester, I’ll start working out!” Will you really? 

92% of new years resolutions fail, according to the University of Scranton. Swallow that for a minute.


Just because you give yourself a starting point (i.e. Monday, next semester, next year, etc.) doesn’t mean that anything will be any different once you actually get to that starting point. The question to ask yourself is not, “What will I do this year?” Rather, ask yourself “How will I alter my behavior to make a change this year?” That’s where you will find success… in figuring out the road map to your destination, not just deciding when or where to take off.

We asked some of our Fit University ambassadors their best tips for being the rare 8% that actually succeed at new years resolutions. Here is our 5 step guide on how to actually keep your new years resolution.

Step 1: Choose your goal.

Joe Romeo from Northeastern, said it best: “Have a good reason for achieving a goal that is your own.” Your friend may want to start lifting, your mom may want to travel more, and your roommate may want to simply “be more healthy” this year. Those are all wonderful goals but they may not apply to you. Your goal should be something made to better yourself, not anyone else, so don’t jump on the bandwagon of “this year, I’m going to be gluten-free!” if your heart’s not into it.

Step 2: Make a pie.

Confused? Keep reading.

Picture this…it’s New Years Day and you want to bake a pie (a healthy pie with natural ingredients, that is). You can’t just say, “I want to bake a pie” and boom it appears! The world don’t work that way, friend. You need to take the proper steps to bake the pie. Look up the recipe, gather all of the ingredients, pre-heat the oven, measure out the ingredients, mix, pour, bake, and cool. It takes completing all of those small steps before you have your completed – and delicious – to keep your new years resolutions

Your goals are just like pie. In order to reach them, you need to break them down into “small, tangible steps each month or week,” says Fit U ambassador Hannah Heitz (Emory). John Griffin (NU) adds that, “setting daily goals to achieve weekly goals, weekly goals to achieve monthly goals, and monthly goals to achieve yearly goals” helps him bake the pie, if you will 😉

So, moral of the story? Big goal, small steps. 

Step 3: Ease into your goals

Why do so many resolution-ers fail? Because they try to go from working out essentially never, to working out 5 days a week. Take it from Danielle Dionne (FAU): “Trying to cut something off cold turkey is wayyyyy harder than scaling down weekly or monthly. Similarly, adding in a gym routine is easier if you start once a week and build up to 4/5 times a week.”

Step 4: Find a support team

It’s important to surround yourself with people that are positive and supportive of your goal. Don’t believe us? Look at the research. A study conducted by UPenn found that students who were given workout buddies over a 13-week period were more motivated and exercised more than students without buddies #science. It’s easy to find a support team at Fit U…just look at the hashtag  #fituniversity on Instagram and you’ll see over 11,000 posts of students living fit & healthy lifestyles. Jump right in and join the online community! You’re in even more luck if your school has a Fit University chapter to join. (Want to start one if it doesn’t? Dooo it!).

how to keep your new years resolutions

The #fitufam is strong.

Whoever your community is, finding it is crucial in your success.

Step 5: Keep motivated

When we first set goals, we’re excited and anxious to jump in. But as the semester picks up, it’s easy to lose that motivation in the sea of papers, exams and extracurriculars. Keep things interesting by finding new ways to workout, new recipes to try, and fun ways to stay fit.

how to keep your new years resolutionsIf you’ve broken down your goal into smaller ones, you give yourself opportunities to make small victories on a regular
basis. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing checkmarks all down your list of goals. Take it a step further…Fit U ambassador Katie Terrone (University of Scranton) suggests, “small rewards keep you motivated to continue reaching your goals!” We’re not saying to buy yourself an ice cream sundae every night you make it to the gym (unless you’re looking for all sorts of #gainz), but maybe vow to buy yourself a new pair of sneakers 6 weeks in or take yourself out for a good meal after hitting a big milestone. 

When you look back at your goals and see that you’ve accomplished it all (because you will), start thinking about your next move. Fit U ambassador Rich Zapata (Stony Brook) is all about “staying hungry after you reach one goal. [Once you hit it], you go for another.” Ready to bake another pie? Repeat entire process starting at step 1.

Something to consider:

Goals should be a source of excitement and motivation, not a source of stress. If you find yourself stressing out because you’re not where you pictured yourself to be, know that that’s ok. Fit U ambassador Hannah Liistro (NU). makes an excellent point: “don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day; instead, use it as motivation to succeed the next day!” If you find yourself stressing out day after day, it might be best to reevaluate. Goals can always be readjusted to fit your current situation, there’s no need to fret. 

Happy new year – you’ve got this. 

Check out these articles too:

Why You Should Set Non-Fitness Resolutions Too
New Years Resolutions: A New Perspective
Check Yourself: The Silent Predator of New Years Resolutions
Food Trends To Get You Excited for 2017

Author Fit University

Fit University is a college student's go-to source for all things health & fitness.

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