The New Year’s resolutions you shouldn’t be making

Before you launch into a hard-core fitness regimen or promise to give up junk food forever, consider this expert advice to make resolutions that will last.

Most of us have the best intentions when we make New Year’s resolutions, but the success rate for many is less than stellar.

In fact, it is estimated that about 80 per cent of them end in failure.

Experts reveal which resolutions to avoid – and how to make goals that will help you become one of the 20 per cent who actually succeed.

Avoid: ‘I will exercise more’

Instead, ask yourself: “What’s the easiest thing I can do to achieve my exercise goals?”

It sounds simple enough, but don’t set yourself up for failure.

Genesis Health and Fitness national fitness trainer Sam Merza says easily achievable, smaller goals will help you create a “positive cycle of succeeding” – which is more likely to keep you on track.

“Everyone needs to keep winning,” says Sam.

So, instead of telling yourself you’re going to go to the gym every single day when you have not ever really exercised, why not start with something manageable and go for two days?

Schedule these sessions as if they are a meeting, and above all aim to be consistent with your routine, says Sam.

Avoid: ‘I will save more.’

Instead, say: “I will save $(insert amount) by (insert date), so that (insert what it’s worth to you).”

Be specific in your goals (and this applies to everything from finance to fitness).

MoneyGirl financial literacy organisation co-founder Mariam Mohammed says when it comes to saving, start with your “why”.

For example, saving for a holiday becomes more important when you define why you’re doing it, such as spending quality time with family, or avoiding burnout at work.

“Do your research and put a dollar amount on how much you need to save up. And put a date on it,” says Mariam.

Once you’ve got an amount in mind, Mariam advises dividing the cost by how much time you’ve got and this will give you a daily/weekly/monthly amount that you need to save up.

“Set this amount up as an auto debit into a separate savings account that you cannot spend out of,” she says.

Avoid: ‘I will eat healthier this year.’

Instead, make it: “I want to eat in a way that will allow me to feel healthier and more energetic this year.”

Nutritionist and JSHealth founder Jessica Sepel says it is time to “let go of a rigid, perfect plan or diet” because there is no such thing as a perfect way of eating.

Instead, she suggests focusing on how you feel as a result of eating healthily, instead of viewing healthy eating as restrictive and a form of punishment.

Jessica says you can introduce this way of eating into your life by making simple changes, such as:

  • Aiming to eat a protein-rich breakfast every day to “stabilise your blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings”;
  • Including colourful vegetables in each meal to “ensure you have enough fibre and antioxidants each day”;
  • And enjoying a protein-rich snack at 4-5pm to help “prevent a crash in energy levels, and help tide you over until dinner time”.

Written by Tania Gomez.