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Setting up for success by throwing out the New Year Resolutions

by Carey Davis-Munro

Setting up for Success by Throwing out the New Year Resolutions!

Yes! You read that right. The wellbeing , food and lifestyle coach is saying DON’T make New Year’s Resolutions.

Why? With Christmas behind us, there can be so much pressure to set a resolution but the statistics and evidence based results show that between only 2% – 10% of us have any level of success.

We also know that health related outcomes are among the most common New Year’s resolutions with exercising more, eating a more nutritious diet and losing weight always coming top overall. In fact a Swiss study found that 70% of all resolutions relate to physical health. Knowing that maintaining a healthy weight, moving our body regularly and eating a diet high in vegetables, wholefoods and good sources of protein is the best way to protect us from lifestyle disease then why would I say ditch the resolutions?

Firstly, in January we are in a state of overwhelm. We move into the darkest months of the year with many of us suffering from SAD, low mood, and a lack of sunshine and vitamin D. Knowing then that most resolutions don’t work, this can be yet another stick to beat ourselves down this time of year. Especially when we set them last minute on the 31st December with no preparation and wonder why by 2nd January we have already ditched them.

Instead set up for success. Both psychologically and physically. As a behaviour coach I always advise clients when we make changes we need to get our head in the right frame of mind, and then take the physical actions to support the outcomes we want.

Firstly we need to ensure our brain can even connect to the outcome we want. For example did you know when we say ‘I want to lose weight’, our minds immediately shut down because we cannot connect to the concept of ‘lose’.

  1. Instead start by positively framing your intentions in a much more robust way. For example this could become ‘ When I look in the mirror I will love my shape more’.


‘I now eat only foods rich in good nutrients, lots of plant sources and wholefoods’


“ I incorporate yoga, weights and boxercise into my scaffolding with making healthy food choices and upgraded decisions for my body.”

  1. Once you have your affirmation/goal/outcome clear with a date by which you want to achieve it then ask yourself WHY? What does this bring you? How will it impact your life? Your relationships? Get absolute clarity on the benefits of making these changes and your drivers – what I call your petrol in the engine to keep you motivated. This is an imperative piece of work that we don’t do when we set resolutions.
  2. Understand where you are now. We never set off without knowing our starting point and destination and proper goal setting is the same. So understand the reality of what has kept you here and how far away from the outcome you currently sit.
  3. Decide what needs to happen in advance of you starting. You may need to get a partner onside or at least let them know what you are doing. You may have to go and do a food shop and set your kitchen up for success. You may need a buddy to go to classes with at the gym. Explore this fully and ensure you consider all options before deciding two or three you will act on.
  4. Know your obstacles and barriers to success. Pre empt them and get ready to overcome them by advance planning. This piece is SO important.
  5. Get a buddy, coach or friend onside and GO, knowing you have done the deeper work to ensure success.

Lastly, choose your starting date realistically and don’t get drawn into the pressure of doing something on the 1st January.

I doubt you will have had the time to prepare in the madness of Christmas as well as you need to. Be kind to yourself and start when you are ready.

To discover more about Carey, and work with her for your own success in 2023 find out more here.

Image Credit: Engin Akyurt

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