Two men arm in arm while running a trail together.
January 19 is the date on which most of us break our New Year's Resolution.Image by: Movember
Two men arm in arm while running a trail together.
8 December 2022

5 ways to stick to your New Year's resolution

3 minutes read time

We all know that sticking to a New Year’s resolution is hard. But did you know that there's actually a date where our resolutions are most likely to fall apart?

That date is January 19, according to Strava. The fitness app provider analysed 800 million activities and concluded that, yes, that's when so many of us collectively lose our mojo.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Here are 5 boss tips for making your New Year’s resolution stick.

1) Set realistic goals

You wouldn't pledge to make a resolution if change were easy. Big changes are tough – but not impossible. The trick is to be realistic.

Aiming to improve your fitness over 6 months is a realistic goal. Aiming to bulk up like Predator-era Arnold Schwarzenegger (Arnie was 40 at the time) when you've never done serious lifting is not. The same goes for changes in eating habits (moderation vs extreme regimes), social relationships, and just about anything else.

Aiming high is perfectly fine. But aim for reality. You don't want to fall into the disappointment trap by chasing an impossible ideal.

2) And make your goals specific

"I want to finish a half-marathon by the end of year" is a specific goal. "I want to be healthier" is not. Both are realistic, but one is easier to fulfil than the other.

That's because a specific goal can be planned and measured. You know how high that bar is, which means you'll know how far to push yourself to get there. And once you are there, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you achieved what you set out to do.

An airy, non-specific goal, however, is hard to hit. What does success mean if it's up to interpretation? And how will you know when you've reached your goal when you don't know where the target is?

Understanding what you're setting out to do is the basis of goal setting.

3) Mentally prepare yourself for setbacks

The more challenging the resolution, the harder it will be to accomplish. So accept that, in trying to do something difficult, you may fall off that horse.

That means coming to terms with the fact that you will almost certainly face setbacks. You might run out of motivation, succumb to Uber Eats for the third night in a row, or injure your hamstring. What matters most is how you respond to these situations.

Falling short on your goals does not amount to instant failure. Rather, treat these as temporary setbacks. Stop, refocus, and then don't be too hard on yourself as you get back on that horse and pick up where you left.

4) Don't try to change everything at once

Spending less time on social media, regular gym sessions, more time with friends and family, reading a novel each week, eating fresh, drinking less alcohol and caffeine, mastering the art of woodworking, trying sky diving, and not getting sucked into endless binges of Doomsday Preppers… these are all worthwhile goals.

Attempting to do them all at the same time, however, is a stretch. In fact, you'll probably be overwhelmed.

As mentioned, make your goals realistic – and that means having a realistic number of attainable goals.

5) There's a heck of a lot you can already do

Resolutions are about improving your health and wellbeing. But did you know that Movember already has loads of tools to help get you started?

Checking up on your health is a no-brainer, so if you’re over 50, talk to your doctor about screening for prostate cancer. Younger guys should also take note: here's how to check yourself for signs of testicular cancer.

Mind you, they're just a few things that so many of us can do for a New Year's resolution. Here are 5 things that Movember is asking all Mo Bros to get behind so they can be the best father, partner, brother, son and friend in 2023.