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January Hurdles: Why Failing Your New Year’s Resolution is Just the Start, Not the End

It’s expected that some New Year’s resolutions will be challenging, but not impossible, to successfully achieve. If you feel like giving up on your resolutions, continue reading to learn the common pitfalls and solutions to New Year resolutions. Let’s make 2024 the year of sustainability!
Safia Ismael

So you entered January 1st more devoted than ever to make 2024 the year of true change! You started off incredibly strong with that diet you’ve been wanting to try, or training for that 10k marathon you want to successfully run in a few months. But as January progressed, prior commitments to family and work may have gotten in the way, your cravings got the better of you, or you couldn’t see your training through to the end because you became tired.

Whatever caused you to derail from your resolution, it’s absolutely fine and often expected! We are all ordinary people with a busy life to live. Whilst it can be demotivating, the new month of February brings the opportunity to reflect on our previous shortcomings so that we can plan better. 

After all, we still do have 11 months left to see our resolutions through! So grab a pen and paper, and get ready to learn 3 major pitfalls and solutions to executing your goals.

Pitfall 1: Underestimating the complexity of the New Year's resolution 

Whether your goal is to run a new marathon, begin a brand new diet or even build healthier habits, any New Year's resolution begins by appreciating its complexity. This includes understanding your current habits.

Solution 1

Conduct thorough research on your particular resolution and answer the following key questions:

  • What does this resolution entail?
  • What is the common time length taken by previous people?
  • Do I need any particular resources to achieve this resolution?
  • If I have multiple resolutions, how can I categorise them?
  • Based on urgency? E.g. Flexible, Scheduled, Time-sensitive
  • Based on how challenging they are? E.g. Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Half the challenge lies in writing out and categorising the research for your goals, but every organised insight paves the way to achievement.

Pitfall 2: Setting an unrealistic time length to see improvements 

Whether you allow yourself 1 month to lose 10kg or a few weeks to run a marathon, a time-sensitive schedule may only leave you overwhelmed in the long run and increase the risk of burnout.

Did you know that burnout can severely impact key cognitive abilities such as memory and attention and can take months if not years to properly recover from? For this exact reason, it's important to prevent burnout when focusing on your goals, as opposed to recovering from it. You can learn more about the severity of burnout in this study.

Solution 2

It’s important to recognise that New Year's resolutions are often goals you’ve never undertaken before. Therefore you must give yourself grace during this learning curve. Here are a few simple adjustments to your schedule that can bring you one step closer to success:

  • Allowing yourself to have an adjustment period: Did you know that sugar leads to a release of dopamine, which encourages us to repeat behaviours, leading to the formation of habits? Some habits are harder to break than others. Therefore, if your resolution is to cut out sugar, you are better off doing this gradually over a period of weeks. Remember, slow and steady wins the race to successfully achieving your resolutions.
  • Separate your resolutions into quarterly goals: A common strategy undertaken by businesses, organising your resolutions into quarters of the year (i.e. every 3 months) allows you to focus on a few goals at a time and manage your stress better in the long run.
  • Keep a journal handy: Recording both your physical and emotional progress for each of your resolutions is essential in recognising what is and isn’t working well for you. This enables you to change tactics that better fit your needs. Simple questions you can ask yourself include:
  • How do I feel?
  • If I am feeling a negative emotion, why? 
  • Is there something better I can do?

Pitfall 3: Over-engaging with a specific resolution

Whether it’s work or children, we all have other responsibilities in life and simply can’t do everything we want in our resolutions at once. It’s important to recognise that we must make our goals work around our schedule, not the other way around.

Solution 3

Here are some tips to support you in organising your resolutions better:

  • List your non-negotiable daily commitments: this includes commitments to work and family that are fixed to your schedule.
  • Work with the remaining time you have: Start off by focusing on embedding one main resolution into your schedule. You can focus on additional goals if they are easier, but only if you have the capacity. Don’t cut down on necessities such as sleeping and eating to try and achieve your goals.
  • Recognise the importance of breaks: whether you’re learning a new language or exercising more, physical and mental rest is vital in successfully reaching your goals. Without it, you risk burning out, which can deter you from pursuing your resolutions. Learning to pace yourself is key!

How GlycanAge can help you help yourself

GlycanAge applauds your determination through your trials and tribulations to achieve a healthier lifestyle. We know it’s not an easy task to undertake, but we can support you in your journey.

GlycanAge is a biological age test that can show you how your current lifestyle impacts your overall health by measuring your body’s chronic inflammation. We’re all often guilty of having that ‘go hard or go home’ mentality when it comes to our goals. 

But overworking ourselves can be more damaging than beneficial. This is where GlycanAge can help you, as it is incredibly responsive to certain habits such as diet, exercise and even stress. With GlycanAge’s insight, you can track your progress towards longevity in a healthier manner.

Start by taking our Health Quiz.

‘All great achievements require time.’ - Maya Angelou 

Always remember: Your New Year’s resolution should not torment you. If anything, they should be fun and uplifting because they contribute to your overall growth and character development. So remember to show some self-compassion during challenging times, and to occasionally laugh - it’s actually really good for your health!

Safia Ismael

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