Why Setting New Year’s Resolutions can Thwart your Success

Please don’t set New Year’s resolutions! At least not today, because it can unintentionally become permission to mistreat your body during the holidays. 

Think about how easy it is to shrug off bad decisions… with “what does it matter if I overeat, under-sleep or over-commit myself? It’s ‘that’ time of year.”

A promise of starting in January hangs on the idea that life becomes perfect – or at least normal – as we flip the calendar page from December to January. But it’s no different than “I’ll start Monday.” Both give false hope and promote an off-and-on lifestyle that doesn’t lead to sustained health and fitness.

The real reason someone doesn’t consistently engage in healthy habits is that she gives other things greater priority. And that’s okay as long as it’s intentional. But when a busy schedule and over-stressed emotions are allowed to take over, and life develops an emergency feel, there is no room for wellness.

New Year's Resolutions
Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-paper-beside-greeting-cards-6149084/

When “New Year’s resolutions” and “starting Monday” kinds of thinking are a pattern, it’s hard to step back and determine what’s needed in order to ultimately be successful. That’s because it promotes a belief that circumstances need to be better or we need to feel more motivated. The inevitable failures that come are energy draining, and undermine the self-confidence necessary to know that our health and weight loss goals can be achieved. That a healthy lifestyle is always possible. 

My favorite definition of commitment is the ability to follow through with a worthwhile decision once the emotion of making the decision has passed.  Once a commitment is made it’s time to live it—now—not put it off to an idyllic future time.  

No matter what this month holds for you, your work and your family, be intentional with your wellbeing. Take small daily steps that keep you on track with your healthy habits so that come January you feel confident in setting any goal you want.

The 10 Best Holiday Hacks

Can you to savor the holidays? And get to the other side with healthy habits intact? Without regrets?


Even during COVID?


I’ve done it for years and I’m sharing my 10 Best Holiday Hacks so you can, too.

  1. Let go of New Year’s resolutions. Why? They’re a surefire road to over-indulging and letting your healthy habits take a dive. Who wants to wake up January 1 feeling like you’re behind? Not you.
  2. Instead, “resolve” how you want to feel on January 1st. And let that drive your choices this month. Say you want to feel strong or energized, what would you do throughout December to make that come true as you’re singing Auld Lang Syne?
  3. Practice gratitude. For all of it. Even COVID. What?! Yes. Go crazy with gratitude, large and small. Make it a daily awareness.
  4. Be picky. Treats abound during the holidays, but not all are “worth it.” Eat only the best and savor it without guilt. Let all the others go. And think about making treats special, like drinking hot chocolate while driving around town looking at holiday lights, rather than having it become an everyday habit.
  5. Avoid drama. Prepare a graceful response to remove yourself from unhelpful situations. You don’t need to get hooked into other people’s crazy. And, you don’t need to make any of your own. 😊

    Can you to savor the holidays without regrets? I’ve done it for years and I’m sharing my 10 Best Holiday Hacks so you can, too.
    Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
  6. Beyond food. In what innovative ways can you enjoy the holidays beyond peppermint mochas and Christmas cookies? Think cheesy movies, ice skating, blasting Christmas music…let food be ancillary to your overall enjoyment of the season.
  7. Be kind to yourself. This is true at all times, but especially when stress is high. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can (and so is everyone else).
  8. Identify what’s most important. And don’t let it get overshadowed by shiny objects this time of year. In fact, this may be one of the biggest gifts of the pandemic. With less distraction, focus is easier.
  9. Define healthy. What does it look like for you during the holidays? Identify the habits you want to maintain and those that may need to shift. Plan ahead.
  10. Re-think traditions. Another COVID reality…what new traditions will you create for yourself? For your family? Take this opportunity to notice what previous ones you stuck with out of obligation.

There you have it, my 10 Holiday Hacks to savor the holidays with your healthy habits intact.

Feel harder than it sounds? Schedule a strategy session and I’ll help you enjoy the holidays and wake up January 1 with pants that fit (and are maybe even a little loose!).

Health. Weight. And Holidays.

With Thanksgiving gone and December before us, I decided this is the ideal time to revisit my “Top 50 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays (and Not Gain Weight).” You can be intentional with your health and weight, and still enjoy the holidays. If you’re already feeling like you’ve blown it or that you’ll wait until the New Year to think about it, then this post is really for you!

  1. Don’t make NY resolutions – it’s too easy to let yourself off the hook now.
  2. If you use the “back burner” at least have it turned on (no all-or-nothing).
  3. Prepare for the expected – it shouldn’t take you by surprise.
  4. Learn from prior years – what would you do differently this year?
  5. Plan for parties – what will you eat/drink, or not?
  6. Don’t “save up” calories – skipping meals leads to a pig out.
  7. Set your standard (e.g. # of parties, networking events, etc.).
  8. Walk 15.5 miles this month (that’s 10 minutes/day at a 3mph pace).
  9. Month of gratitude.
  10. Ferociously prioritize.
  11. No “shoulds” – you don’t have to accept every invitation.
  12. Be conscious – food simply being “there” isn’t a reason to eat it.
  13. Be picky – not all treats are worth it. Eat only the best.
  14. Honor your curfew – remember how you feel when you don’t get enough sleep.
  15. Savor holiday treats – and please don’t feel guilty.
  16. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
  17. Be realistic – you’re only human 🙂
  18. Avoid drama – craft a graceful response to remove yourself from these situations.
  19. Go ice skating – seriously, how fun!
  20. Space out adult beverages with water.
  21. Be kind to yourself – you’re doing the best you can and so is everyone else.
  22. Maintain regular sleep times.
  23. Identify what’s most important…and don’t let it get overshadowed by the ubiquity of shiny objects this time of year.
  24. Decide what healthy looks like for you.
  25. If it’s going to be cold have appropriate outerwear on hand (eliminating that excuse) so that you can exercise and keep active.
  26. Get in the good stuff – eat it first so you don’t fill up on what’s not that great.
  27. People over food – remember gatherings are for connecting; let food be secondary.
  28. Go e-free during holiday get togethers.
  29. Don’t get hooked – others need not get you riled up.
  30. Be intentional so that your words and actions serve your priorities.
  31. Don’t lament over last night’s buffet – forgive yourself and move on.
  32. Decide how you want to feel Jan. 1 – and let that drive what you do the rest of Dec.
  33. Imagine how it feels to be in integrity – to do what you say is important to you.
  34. Take time out for yourself – it’s the only way you can fully be there for others.
  35. You don’t have to “get it out of the house.” A box of, say, See’s Candies can last into early next year – you don’t need to eat it all before Jan. 1.
  36. Caught in traffic? Breathe deeply to de-stress and focus on what’s good.
  37. Find new, healthy favorites – ever tried mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes (or a blend of the two)?
  38. Move in the morning – start your day with some bit of exercise/activity.
  39. Cheesy movie night – something that makes you smile (or happy cry).
  40. Listen to music you enjoy, and move to it.
  41. Don’t deprive – fit in your favorites to avoid Diet Deprivation Backlash.
  42. Send party food home with your guests.
  43. Take in the sunshine – it stimulates feel-good serotonin.
  44. Feeling sick? Stay home! Everyone will be glad you did.
  45. Hydrate.
  46. Eat to sufficiency – more is really not enjoyable and it starts a downward spiral.
  47. Eat when you’re hungry – being too hungry leads to over-eating.
  48. Bring a healthy potluck option – you’ll have at least one healthy choice to rely on (some people will even thank you for it).
  49. Re-gift calories – take gifts of holiday treats to a shelter or a neighbor in need.
  50. Re-think traditions – what would an enjoyable, healthy one look like?
  51. Freeze it – you’ll be happy to have a holiday treat to thaw out in January.

Trust me, it’s possible. Your effort now will pay off as the calendar turns to 2019 and you feel healthy and strong, and delighted with how you handled the holidays.

Sound easier than it feels? I can help. Let’s chat!

8 Quick & Easy Ways to Kickstart Feeling Better and Getting Fit.

Grab it for FREE now!