Top Tips For Resolution Success

It’s the beginning of a New Year and a time when many people resolve to make changes. Any time is a good time to decide and commit to making a positive change but the New Year acts as a catalyst causing people to think about their lives and whether or not they are happy with the way things are. Eating better and exercising more regularly are amongst the top resolutions people make with the end goal of weight loss, improving health and getting in better shape.

There are people who do not make New Year’s resolutions even though they have behaviours that they would like to change. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2002 (1) showed that people who make New Year’s resolutions are more successful with making changes to their behaviour than people who would like to make changes but do not make resolutions to do so. After six months, 46% of the people who made resolutions were successful compared with 4% of non-resolvers.

Today we will share with you the first of 7 Tips For Resolution Success…. 


People often restrict or deprive themselves when looking to make a change. They often punish themselves with diets and exercise regimes that are too difficult to maintain and that are unrealistic long term. 

In order to be successful you need to have a plan which you  can sustain in the long run with exercise and diet goals.

Healthy eating is very often perceived as boring and restrictive, however there are plenty of ways that it can be made enjoyable. 

For example……try to introduce healthy foods into your diet one step at a time; increase your intake gradually; experiment with flavours – adding herbs and spices to your cooking can make a big difference; not a fan of veggies….add them into a delicious smoothie, there are so many different options you can experiment with.

If the idea of exercise doesn’t excite you then look at ways to make it more enjoyable…..

Get yourself a  workout buddy – exercising with a friend can help to motivate each other, it’s harder to make excuses if you are letting someone else down! Work activity into your day, go for a brisk walk in your lunch hour, play outdoors with your kids or cycle to work. There is so much variety now with different classes available, try them out, see which you like the best, it should be something you enjoy not a punishment.  Set up a playlist so that you can listen  to your favourite music while you exercise to help keep your motivation levels up.


For example, “fitting into my size 10 jeans” would be a clearer goal than simply to “lose weight”.

There are two types of goals; outcome goals and process goals. By setting clear outcome goals, you are giving yourself something solid to aim for. 

Process goals are “doing” goals, such as making sure you eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per daydrinking two litres of water per day or doing 45 minutes of resistance training four times a week.

Examples of outcome goals:

– to fit into my size X dress / jeans / shirt by March – to squat 50kg by April

– to lose a stone by the end of February

  Examples of process goals:

– to eat four different vegetables every day

– to train with weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday – to get to bed by 10.30pm on weekdays

Another way to approach your goal is to break it down so it looks more manageable – set yourself mini milestones. E.g. losing 1lb per week looks more manageable than losing 50lbs. If you change your approach and focus on the smallest milestone, the bigger goal will take care of itself.


Don’t forget Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just like unwanted body fat didn’t appear overnight. Improving your health and fitness and getting into better shape takes time, and sometimes the faster we try to go and the more radical the approach is, the less likely we are to be able to maintain things. Small consistent actions can really add up over time and make the change more sustainable.

Trying to sustain 3-4 training sessions per week is better in the long run than trying to do 6-7 per week and feeling overwhelmed. Just like sustaining a small calorie deficit is better in the long run than a drastic reduction, which will lead to a lack of adherence.


Recognise any potential triggers that have derailed your efforts in the past. For example, some people are able to eat one or two biscuits and stop, whereas some people don’t stop until the biscuit tin is empty (‘all or nothing’ thinking). While it would be great if we could all consume treats in moderation, it’s a fact that some people struggle to do this and are therefore better off avoiding known triggers. If it’s not in the house, then it can’t be eaten.


If you don’t have a schedule it’s fairly easy to fall into the trap of “I haven’t got time”, how many times have you grabbed a quick lunch as you didn’t plan in time to meal prep?  

If you set aside time for training, preparing food etc, you are more likely to stay on track. Some examples of ways you can schedule include; writing out your evening meals for the week ahead and creating shopping lists, blocking out time in your diary to exercise, or pre-booking your gym sessions. Over time, these actions can become long-term habits.

If your work schedule varies from day to day and planning in advance is more difficult, you might prefer to set a goal to exercise X number of times per week. This might mean waking up early one or two times in the week, taking a walk in your lunch break or hitting the gym on the way home from work.

Where there is a will, there is a way – think about your week and plan it out as soon as you know your work schedule!


Nobody is perfect…..

Everybody slips up from time to time, whether it be overindulging, making excuses to skip training sessions, or having too many drinks at the weekend.

While it is natural to feel some disappointment, it’s unhelpful to beat yourself up over these things and wallowing in a negative state can lead to “falling off the wagon” and eating and/or drinking to excess in a bid to make yourself feel better.

Remind yourself of what you want to achieve and get back on track as quickly as possible – don’t let a bad day turn into a bad week, month and so on!! 

“Forget yesterday, act on today and get a hold on tomorrow” – Jaachynma Ne Agu


Most people, when aiming to achieve health and fitness related goals, will need to learn new skills. Whether that be learning to cook, learning about nutrition and how to make better food choices, understanding how to exercise effectively or learning how to lift weights properly.  Remember it can take time, and no matter what it should be enjoyable, find what works for you! 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: