WTF: New Year Resolutions & Your “Why”

I venture to guess your New Year’s Resolution(s) is one or more of the following:

  • To lose # pounds
  • Exercise more
  • Find a new job
  • Start a new hobby
  • Eat more healthily
  • Learn a new skill
  • Quit something

These are all noble pursuits, but have you asked yourself “Why?”? Let’s go with the most popular: losing weight. Typically, people have a number. We’ll say you want to lose 30 pounds.

I’ll set the scene:

It’s December 31st and you’re at brunch with your friends sharing your New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone’s going around the circle saying they want to do this and that and it’s your turn. You say, “I want to lose 30 pounds,” and everyone’s stoked for you, like, “Yeah! Go get it!” “That’s a great goal!” “Good for you!” You’re feeling jazzed and motivated, thinking, “I’ll drop 30 pounds like it’s hot!”

You go home and share that with your family now that you’re excited from the conversation earlier. Your family is happy for you too and offer words of encouragement. “Sweet! Look at all this support I have!”

You party and wake up January 1st. You’re still motivated, albeit, a tad hungover. You go to the gym and see the hundreds of other people who have the same goal as you. You pick up some dumbbells and pump out 12 reps because that sounds right. You do that a few times. Then you jump on the treadmill for 30 minutes and call it a day.

You eat salad for lunch instead of the cheeseburger you’re used to eating.

And this goes on for about a month when you’re not seeing the results you thought you’d see. You become a little less motivated, cutting down gym time, and sliding those cheeseburgers back into the diet because at least you’re still going to the gym and you’re drinking more water.

By March, you’re back to your old habits: sleeping in on the weekends and cheeseburgers for lunch. You gained back the couple of pounds you lost in January and you’re back to thinking, “More cushion for the pushin’.”

Why do you so many New Year’s Resolutions fail?

Because we don’t have a Why.


We make resolutions because it’s the thing to do. We think of “nice-to-haves” and make it a goal, without regard to why we want to achieve that goal.

Back to losing weight. Why do you want to lose 30 pounds (pick your number)? How will this benefit you? How will it change you for the better? Who does this benefit? How will you feel once you lose 30 pounds? What will you do once you lose 30 pounds? Why 30 and not 40 or 10? What is special about that number?

Get crystal freaking clear on your resolution. Ask “Why?” until you know the answer deep down. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone but yourself, but you do have to know your “Why?” Because if you don’t, it’ll fall to the wayside, just like any meaningless “goal” we create because we feel like we need to.


Be so clear you can taste it.




Need help setting realistic weight loss and exercise goals? Get at me:


I talk to myself out loud.

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