New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Mistakes You Should Avoid In 2019

It’s another brand new year! It means another fresh start! I’d bet you’ve already taken out your journal and started listing down all the goals you want to achieve this year or didn’t achieve last year. What an exciting feeling, right?

But before diving into that list, there’s actually a wrong way and right way of setting yourself up for success. And guess what, setting crazy-unrealistic goals is your first blunder on a path to failure. You don’t want to wait until April or May then realize you’ll have to give up — AGAIN — on the resolutions.

Learn more about the most common New Year’s resolution mistakes — and how you can avoid making them.

Your Goal Is Too Vague

Man said diet starts now while eating donuts


Goals such as “getting fit,” “losing weight,” and “eating healthy” are some of the most common ones on one’s resolution list. However, to follow through with these goals, you’ll need to define exactly what they are in clearer terms. Instead of committing yourself into eating more greens, try incorporating at least one different vegetable in at least two meals a day. Or instead of “losing 20 pounds by February 1st,” try to list your goal as “work out at least 3 days per week, 30 minutes per time.”

You’re Aiming Too High

Toy Story Mr. Potato Head working out


While talking about making your goals clearer to achieve, you should make sure the goals are realistic as well. If your goal is to lose five pounds, you’re entirely in control. You can eat better and exercise. So instead of hitting the gym EVERY DAY, try starting with a smaller goal like two to three days a week, then gradually adding on to that. Or you might resolve to find a fun new way to exercise.

Your List Is Too Long

Man showing another man a super long list


Many of us compose a list of New Year’s resolutions that is longer than a child’s list to Santa. If you add too many things to your resolution list, chances are you will weigh yourself down and accomplish basically none of them. It is safer to keep your list to a few key goals that you can realistically achieve. Remember, New Year’s resolutions are not bucket lists, they’re statements of short-term intentions. So choose two to three items at most, and focus on completing those.

You Don’t Have a Timeline

Crossing out the 1st


Ironically, despite New Year’s resolutions being associated with January 1st, an extremely common mistake is never deciding when we will actually start. You might intend to begin a new diet or read tons of new books, but unless you make a firm decision about what day you’re starting it, you probably never will. Write out clear dates and when relevant, timelines for starting and completing both overall goals and intermediate sub-goals.

Deciding Your Resolutions Based On Other People’s

Man yelling "I need your attention"


Live your best life instead of other people’s expectations! Don’t go down a path that you’re not passionate about yourself. That’s all. Because if you’re not feeling it deep-down, you will fail.

Making The Resolutions You Don’t Care About

Woman saying "let's move on"


Don’t set goals that you don’t really want to achieve. It is okay to figure out that jogging–or writing, knitting, yoga–isn’t the right thing for you. Don’t continue putting hours into something that isn’t serving you. New Year’s resolutions are supposed to make your life better. If it’s not serving that purpose, then let it go.

You Forgot About Your “Why”

Conan O'Brien crying "why"


A lot of times people get so caught up in the steps it takes to complete the goal itself that they forgot about why they set it in the first place. If you forgot your “why” or your motivation, you might eventually ditch the goal altogether. So try to be intentional about your resolutions, get a clear and specific idea on why the goal you set is important to you.

You Don’t Track Your Results

Woman measures her weight and gets shocked


It’s crucial to note your progress. It’s the only way to know if you’re improving–or getting worse–regressing.

You Don’t Reward Yourself

Fat Simpsons eats cake while working out


Rewards are actually a huge part of the New Year’s resolution process! The purpose is to give yourself a positive reinforcement along the way that keeps you happy and encourages on your path to success.

You Don’t Expect Setbacks

Ross Geller "why do bad things happen to good people"


Sometimes–or a lot of times–plans do fall apart. But hey, it’s just a part of life. You have to be willing to accept and overcome any setbacks. You should know this heading in–yep, you will fail on many days–but the key is to keep going and don’t get discouraged simply because you didn’t 100 percent follow your plan.

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