Why New Years Resolutions Fail

A Better Approach to the New Year.

by Jon Gustin

 I wrote this blog at the beginning of 2020 and I just have to laugh. Not because 2020 was funny but because I personally didn't take any of my own advice. I set this whole mental plan out in this blog only to be blind sided by a global pandemic. I wasn't ready and I don't think I am alone on this. I am a personal trainer and yet this was by far my worst year when it comes to my own fitness goals. I am perfectly fine with admitting that since we continue to live in a world of filtered photos and fake status updates. We are thirsty for the real. So here we are and I think this blog is more relevant and needed than ever. Enjoy!

Here we are again! This time we are closing out a decade and embracing 2021 with open arms! Wide, optimistic arms. This is going to be the year of change, the year I make a huge list and tackle each goal head on. Let me ask you—have you ever met every single goal you’ve made for a New Year? Let me answer that for you, NO. Want to know why? You have completely overwhelmed yourself with unrealistic human expectations. One study shows that only 9.2 percent of people actually succeed at NY resolutions (statistics). We usually make these goals during what I call “the calm.” We are very high during the calm. More ways the one but I’m referring to endorphins. High on endorphins and dopamine from Christmas. Usually we’re a little more relaxed than normal. This is highly determined by the stability of your family though. I can’t help but laugh picturing that all too common scene shown in every Holiday movie. Everyones scene looks different and relaxation is probably not the right term. Hopefully you understand what I’m saying though. It’s usually a time of year when we’re enjoying ourselves and possibly have the time off of work. January 1st hits, work is suddenly slammed, we’re back to our everyday reality and all hell breaks loose. The goals we set with Aunt Bethany over spiked egg nog have dissipated and you immediately convince yourself you have more important things to worry about. I mean it’s only been 14 New Years since you’ve been trying to *insert redundant New Years goal.* Then we question our sanity by remembering the definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Let’s take a different approach this year and start with one simple task.


Hypothetically, lets say your goal is to lose 50 lbs. So you’ll first make a goal that will hit that head on right away. Something realistic that won’t completely disorient us when 2020 hits us worse than the temps off of the Hudson. Chances are if you need to lose 50 lbs, your diet is off and needs work. So maybe let’s give up liquid calories: alcohol, sodas, gatorades, lemonades, coffee drinks etc. After we integrate that we can eliminate something else. You then make a goal to walk everyday for 15 minutes and increase that time by 5 minutes every week. Then you add a 30 min workout 2x per week along with your daily walking routine. Then March rolls around and your diet has made a turn, you workout 3x a week, and you’re walking 45 min everyday. Next thing you know you are 30lbs down! See how that works so much better than expecting yourself to change your entire life habits come January 1st? Once you complete that goal, you may have a financial goal you do the same thing with. It all comes down to habits. Small habits over time equal huge results in the long term.

Lets take a look at the 20 HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE. There may be more however, this a great place to start. 

  1. They keep a journal
  2. They talk to themselves in a mirror.
  3. They meditate.
  4. They read.
  5. They embrace their fears.
  6. They know that failure is part of success.
  7. They associate with only positive people.
  8. They set intentions.
  9. They are thankful.
  10. They prioritize their time.
  11. They don't sweat the small stuff.
  12. They focus on what they can control.
  13. They actively listen.
  14. They enjoy money as a byproduct of their dream.
  15. They don't count on luck.
  16. They love having fun and celebrate.
  17. They forgive themselves and others.
  18. They never give up but will change when needed.
  19. They don't make rash or emotional decisions.
  20. They listen to their intuition.


As we say adios to 2020 and realize no matter the quality of year you had—you are still here. You’re reading this because you want to get better. You may just want to be happier. I have no idea where you are at in life right now but let me tell you—YOU are so worth it! YOU deserve this and you deserve to be happy. Maybe you have it all figured out, or so you think. Do we ever have it all figured out? My 94 year old Grandpa says “Kid, whoever says that has a lot to learn. I’m still learning.” We may be in a good or bad season right now but whichever one you’re in, it’s inevitable to change. There’s always something or someone we can learn from. Sometimes life itself teaches you lessons you never thought you needed to learn. No matter your personal goal or goals, we can all make the world a better place by being nice to each other, generous to one another, and grateful for the freedom to choose that. If we’re not healthy in our bodies and minds, it’s going to be hard to give the world our full potential. The world needs you. Believe that.

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and we at Burton Nutrition are truly grateful for your support through difficult times especially. We sincerely mean that. Also the fact that you read this entire blog.