How to Make New Year’s Resolutions Last

Johna Mailolli

Johna Mailolli, RD
Retail Registered Dietitian

2019 is only a couple weeks away and many people will once again be making New Years resolutions. A lot of us will be focusing on resolutions to better our health, including eating better and getting into shape. Unfortunately, for many of us, these resolutions will only last a few months. Here are some tips on how to make your resolutions last without having to reset and start all over next year.

Don’t wait for the new year to start. Many people prolong their resolutions because they want to have that “last hoorah” with whatever they’re going to give up. For example, individuals who wants to eat healthier will wait until after the holidays so that they can indulge freely before they enter “diet mode.” The reality is there will always be reasons to indulge after the holiday seasons such as birthdays, weddings, outing with friends, or just a bad day at work. Having that “all or nothing at all” mentality is not a sustainable solution. The key is mastering discipline and learning how to indulge reasonably without overdoing it and feeling guilty. Forget the “New Year, New You.” Start today and you’ll be ahead of those folks who’re waiting to take action on January 1. 

Find a fun and exciting way to stay active. If you weren’t excited about joining the gym last year, chances are you’re not going to be excited this year. But for some reason, many people are going to once again pay for a gym membership, force themselves to go, and eventually lose the willpower to do something that they didn’t have an interest in doing in the first place. Explore activities that sound fun and intriguing to you. Consider trying something you’ve never done before such as indoor climbing, indoor swimming, or taking dance classes. Remember, movement comes in different forms and ways besides going to the gym. 

Find a partner to join you on your resolution journey. The journey to achieving your resolutions are always a little easier and more fun when you have someone joining you. Find a person who’s looking to achieve the same resolution as you, whether it’s your significant other, co-worker, or friend. Not only will it be more enjoyable, but you’ll able to support one another, which is helpful on those low motivation days. 

Stay motivated with daily reminders. Most people start out very motivated when it comes to starting their New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, their motivation begins to dwindle as time goes on, which is another reason many people wave the white flag. Why does this happen? Well, as human beings we aren’t programmed to stay motivated for long period of time. Keeping yourself motivated is as important as brushing your teeth and taking a shower; you must do it daily (or as close to daily as possible) to see the benefits. Do something every day to remind yourself that you’ve committed to yourself to making your resolution(s) last. 

You may find yourself in need of a coach or mentor who can help you map out a solid plan for implementing your solutions as well as provide “check-ins” to track your success. Your plan may also need to change as time goes on and that’s okay. Remember: Fulfilling your resolution will take time and doesn’t happen overnight. Fight through the difficult moments, stay dedicated and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. 

Rockland County-resident Johna Mailolli is a Registered Retail Dietitian for Inserra Shoprite. She is also a certified health coach and personal trainer with the American Council of Exercise.