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Why Do Resolutions Fail? 5 Mistakes To Avoid In 2023

Why Do Resolutions Fail? 5 Mistakes To Avoid In 20239 min read

Main Take-Aways:

  1. Focusing on the negative doesn’t help you move forward. Focus on your wins in order to create and maintain momentum, as you learn from roadblocks along the way.

  2. Avoid these 5 mistakes for a successful 2023.

  3. Everything becomes infinitely easier and more effective with guidance, education, and accountability.

Research indicates that the vast majority of people (around 95% or so) fail their new year’s resolutions, however this will not be the focus of this article.

Focusing on the negative doesn’t help you move forward. Which is also why our online fat loss clients focus on their WINS in order to create and maintain momentum, as we learn from roadblocks along the way.

For that same reason, I don’t think we should worry too much about how many people don’t manage to reach the goals that they set for themselves. Instead let’s make sure that you’re among the (let’s call it) 5% who will succeed.

Table of Contents

Mistake 1: The diet’s too strict


You’re probably familiar with the overly restrictive diets that are out there.

There’s the carnivore-clowns telling you to avoid fruits and vegetables, your colleague’s 67th attempt at ‘cutting the carbs’, MLM Karen trying to sell you into another ‘exciting’ opportunity, the juice cleanses, and the list goes on..

Plenty of diets to choose from, but not a lot of stuff that’s actually helpful.

More often than not, these diets come with very strict rules. You’re not allowed to eat any sugars, or any other type of carb for that matter. You can only eat these X amount of foods. You need to replace real foods with bars and shakes. You only drink green juices for a few weeks.

But what if you have a family dinner, birthday, or evening with friends coming up? Do you now have to avoid these events altogether just so you can stick to your diet?

Instead of restriction, let’s focus on adding more of what I like to call ‘the good stuff’.

Let’s add protein, vegetables, fruits, drink more water, etc. so you feel more full and get lots of micronutrients, while still allowing for the more flexible foods in moderation (even during a weight loss phase).

Addition > Restriction.

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Mistake 2: Being impatient


This one’s on the verge of tough love, but it needs to be mentioned:

Years of unhealthy habits can’t all be reversed during the first 4 weeks of the year.

Allow me to use myself as an example. Years of smoking cigarettes, not exercizing, not moving a lot throughout the day, drinking alcohol just about every weekend, an unhealthy diet, inconsistent sleep, and more.. Yep, the old Johan didn’t have the healthiest habits.

Now, this all changed after I decided to get my shit together back in 2012. However it took a lot of time to get to where I wanted to be. It took many failed attempts, trying restrictive diets and unsustainable practices…

Although I did lose about 30kg and eventually learned how to keep it off too, it took me multiple years to get to a good place.

Wonder why so many people fail their new year’s resolutions? Because they’re impatient. They try to ‘fix’ years of bad habits all at once, and get fed up after just a few weeks of trying.

That being said, give yourself more than just a few weeks, or even months, to change your habits. This journey takes time, patience, and effort. Rushing it is never a good idea.

Be patient. As long as you give yourself the time and you keep going, then you’ll get there.

It’s a process, not an event. It’ll take time.

Mistake 3: All or nothing/ perfectionist mindset


9/10 people who share their struggles on the free strategy calls we provide, want and need to overcome ‘all or nothing’ thinking. Something that’s all too common, which you need to address to move forward.

Do you ever catch yourself doing the following?

  • Your diet’s either all super ‘clean’ and in tiny portions, or it’s a ‘cheat day’.
  • You either work out every single day, or you might as well not go at all.
  • During the week you’re extra strict, but then when the weekend comes it’s a free-for-all.
  • Either you hit 10.000 steps every single day, or it doesn’t count.
  • You either ‘eat healthy’, or you eat ‘normal’.
  • You’re ‘on’ or ‘off’ plan.

Look, I feel you. You feel motivated to put in the work and get after it. But all or nothing thinking doesn’t really get us very far. Because ‘all’ is unsustainable (I mean, who can really stay ‘perfect’ all day, every day?), and ‘nothing’ keeps you exactly where you’re at.

So instead let’s try to make better choices most of the time. Whether we’re talking food, workouts, daily steps, hydration, sleep, etc.. You don’t have to be perfect.

However you do need to be consistent. That means showing up every single day, to do your best. Sometimes you’ll have a ‘perfect’ day, MOST of the time you’ll have an alright day, and sometimes the day just sucks.

And that’s fine, just keep going after a bump in the road, because the goal is to just do good most (let’s call it 80%) of the time.

Consistent Action > Perfection

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Mistake 4: Lack of planning and strategy


Imagine going on a trip to *insert exotic dream destination*. Now picture yourself not packing anything, not planning any activities, not arranging any transportation, not booking accommodation, oh and you show up at the airport without a passport or flight ticket.

Sounds silly, right? Now this is exactly what many people do when it comes to their New Year’s Resolutions. The goal is set: lose weight. But the how/what/when/etc. isn’t.

There’s no preparing for the journey ahead. Where are they at in terms of their struggles, goals, and current habits? What’s the stuff that needs to be taken care of before jumping into another weight loss phase?

Then are we allowing for life to actually happen throughout this whole process? How long are we going for? What exact action-based daily goals do we need to set?

Lastly, what’s the exit strategy for after the weight loss phase? Because the keeping-it-off part is actually the hardest part. Again, something that most people miss out on, which is often the fault of the plan/approach.

Avoid this mistake by planning out your whole year. Come up with a strategy that allows you to break down your big goal, into smaller goals, into weekly and daily actions. Include the different seasons of nutrition so that you don’t just end up dieting for the whole year, but that’s not how you keep it off.

An equal amount of time (if not more) needs to be spent nourishing your body.

Plan, Prepare, Execute, Re-address, Repeat.

Mistake 5: Relying on motivation


Motivation is useful, but finite and unreliable.

It shows up unannounced when things are already going well, but it won’t be there for you when you need it the most. Please read that sentence again, sit on that thought, and let it sink in. Motivation shows up when things are ALREADY going well, and it won’t be there when you need it the most.

However most people still believe they need motivation to get started, to take action, to keep going, and to eventually see things move in the right direction.

Though in reality, motivation works the opposite way:

You need to take action first to create momentum, and then once you’re on a roll, then motivation all of the sudden shows up.

Motivation can work as a nice boost and can definitely help you make that decision of signing up to the gym, working with a coach, making changes to your nutrition. But remember, it’s unreliable and it won’t stick around for long.

Motivation will come and go. Enjoy and appreciate it while it lasts, use it to push yourself more when you need to. Then once it fades away again, it’s all about discipline. Until motivation comes back, and the cycle repeats itself.

Action comes before motivation.

How to not fail your new year’s resolution in 2023


There are three more ingredients to a successful journey, which I’ll get into in a sec.

But first, a quick recap. In 2023, you should probably:

  • avoid restrictive diets and find a more flexible approach
  • be patient and allow yourself the time it takes to change your habits
  • toss the ‘all or nothing’ mindset out the window and focus on being consistent
  • avoid going in without a plan, and have a strategy in place that helps you prepare, execute, and sustain
  • not wait for motivation to do something, because action comes before motivation

Lastly, everything becomes infinitely easier and more effective with guidance, education, and accountability.

You might simply not be ready (yet) to work on your health and fitness by yourself. Which is ok, because there are a lot of amazing people and resources out there that can help you. Whether you want to do this on your own, with a coach, app, plan, whatever.. be ok asking others for help.

The internet is like the wild west when it comes to nutrition. The right stuff is all out there for you to find, but there’s a bigger amount of misinformation that will mislead and confuse you. For that, I suggest finding someone who’s willing to help you figure things out.

That can be a family member, a friend, someone at the gym, or anyone else in your environment who seems to have their shit together when it comes to food and fitness.

Otherwise, look for a coach you resonate with. If that’s me, great! I have a lot of free resources available for you, as well as our (free) private community where you can get the support you need. If that’s someone else, awesome! As long as you find someone who is willing to support you, give you guidance, educate you, and hold you accountable.

Because this whole fitness thing is much easier with someone on your side.

If you’d like to have a chat, feel free to message me here (no salesy BS). If you want to join our community, click here. Or if you just want to keep at it on your own, please check out the blog or downloads section for more free resources.

I wish you all the best in 2023. And remember, we’re here for you!

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Johan Vesters

Johan Vesters