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Keto Chow
Dec 28  ·  4 min read
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Why your New Year’s resolutions fail and how to fix them

celebrating new years

It’s not news to any of us that New Year’s resolutions don’t always stick around. (At least one study says that most resolutions are abandoned by January 19, which is just…ouch.)

But why? If we’re so determined to exercise five days a week, or lose that last 15 pounds, why doesn’t that translate into results? And is there a way to “fix” resolutions?

Why your New Year’s resolutions fail

There are a lot of factors that make New Year’s goals hard to sustain. Here are just a few.

1. They are not realistic.

man discouraged

Let’s put it this way: if you haven’t been to the gym since last January, setting a goal to go every day in 2023 may not be the most realistic. Think small! It’s better to set yourself up for success with small steps than to set goals that are not achievable or sustainable.

What about setting a goal to go to the gym twice a week during January, and then reevaluating? Setting goals with a shorter time frame can be helpful for keeping them front of mind anyway!

2. There is no plan in place to achieve them.

looking at map

It’s great to want to read more. But without a plan for how to do that, how will you know whether you’ve achieved it or not? What books would you like to read? When during the week can you set aside some time to read?

Forming a clear, actionable plan (even if it means breaking a larger goal down into more manageable smaller ones) can help it feel less overwhelming. It also gives you a way to measure your success.

3. They lack meaning.

man looking up

Are there goals you have set just because you think you should? What is your “why”? A goal to lose weight may be great—but why is it something you want to dedicate time to? Consider framing it in terms of what it means to you.

You can even add your “why” directly into your goal to keep it front and center. “I want to lose weight so that I can go on a bike ride with my kids.” “I want to go to the gym because I know it improves my mental health.” Knowing your “why” is powerful—and helps make sure you’re putting your energy towards the things that really matter to you.

How to fix them

We’ve already discussed in the section above a few ideas for how to tweak your New Year’s resolutions to make them work a bit better for you. But there are even more strategies you can use to set yourself up for success.

1. Stack your habits.

drinking coffee

This is just a fancy way of saying “Link new habits to existing habits.” Take something you already do automatically and use it as a cue for the new habit. For example, let’s say you want to start stretching every morning to increase flexibility. Take an existing morning habit (e.g. making a cup of coffee) and use that as your cue.

Start your coffee machine, and then do some stretching while you wait. Voila! Those two habits become linked and your goal is reached. The idea behind this strategy is that it is much harder (for you and your brain) to start a new habit than it is to tag something onto an existing one.

2. Keep your goals simple.

making new year's resolutions

Having a list of 50 New Year’s resolutions might feel great on January 1…but it probably won’t feel so good a few months down the line. Keep your list of goals short, simple, and sustainable. Focus on what really matters to you. And remember, smaller steps that you can sustain will have a greater impact than attempting to take giant leaps and sliding back to where you started.

3. Add some easy wins.

couple laughing

When you’re thinking of what goals to set, it can be helpful to pick a few that you know you can easily achieve. Don’t underestimate that feeling of accomplishment when you can tick something off your list! It can give you a great spark of motivation to accomplish the other items you want to get to in 2023.

4. Set up rewards.

holding keto chow

Hey, if it works, it works. Hobby supplies, treats (like a Keto Chow shake), books, extra screen time, a special trip to the movie theater…anything goes!

5. Consider shorter term goals.

group jumping over puddle

Of course there’s a place for long term goals, but thinking a little shorter term can help keep things realistic and relevant. It also has the added benefit of helping you check in with those goals more frequently, so there’s less of a chance of completely forgetting about them. And remember, things can change an awful lot during the course of a single year…and so can you.

6. Make it fun!


Life is too short to set joyless goals. (That’s actually why we created Keto Chow in the first place—to make keto easy but also fun and enjoyable.) Finding creative, fun, enjoyable ways to achieve your goals is not only more…well, fun…but makes them more sustainable as well. After all, you’re far more likely to do something that you actually enjoy. #Facts.

7. Don’t be afraid to change your goals as needed.

group walking forward

If you set a goal that you thought was achievable and are finding it less realistic than you anticipated, you can change it! Goals don’t have to be set in stone. It may also mean dropping a goal completely if you realize that it doesn’t actually matter as much to you as you initially thought it did.

Shifting your goal doesn’t mean you’ve failed—it means you’re paying attention to what’s working and responding accordingly.