Your New Year's Resolution 
There's Still Time To Salvage It

New Years Eve celebration

New Year's Resolutions
Many make them, but few keep them.

Did you make a resolution this year?

So we’re almost a month into the new year, the new you, the new round of resolutions. How are you doing??

Have you already given up?

Are you thinking about quitting once again?

Are you frustrated and disappointed with your inability to stick with any resolutions?


You’re Not Alone

U.S. News reports that by the second week of February, 80% of those who set New Year’s resolutions (approximately 44 million Americans) have fallen off of the bandwagon and given up.

And many pack it in well before that.

You might ask why we keep doing this to ourselves. But resolutions are usually made with the best intentions. We want to save more money, to lose weight or get in shape, to stop smoking, travel more, or any of dozens of other changes.

But, while we are good at making resolutions, we are not so good at keeping them. And it takes more than just making a simple statement made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to have our plans succeed.

We Need To Make A Plan

So with our rapidly dissolving resolution still in mind, let's make a plan for success.

You’ll need two things to get started. First, you need 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time (more if you can). Second, you need a piece of paper and a writing instrument.

I know, paper and pencil seems a little old fashion, but there is good evidence that writing our plans by hand helps us to create better plans that lead to more success. In fact, vividly describing your goals in writing is strongly associated with goal success. And people who vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish their goals than people who don’t.

While 1.2 to 1.4 times may not seem like much, it gets us started off with more likelihood of succeeding.

So with paper and pencil to hand, let’s get started trying to salvage your resolution. (Download a free Smart Goal Worksheet)

1-Start by writing down your resolution as a goal you wish to achieve.

Don’t spend a lot of time on this, just get you goal on paper. You’ll make changes later.

Example: “I want to lose some weight.”

2-Why is this goal important to you? Why do you want to do this?

Here you will spend some time.

Ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal. Not why your spouse, partner, doctor, family, etc want you to do this, but why YOU want to do this. Your why should have some emotion attached to it. Why, in your gut do you want to do this?

Remember to spend some time looking at why you truly want to do this. Then write it down and refine it as much as you want.

Example: “I want to lose some weight so I can more comfortably play with my children/grandchildren.”

3-Now let’s get specific.

We’ll use the old standard SMART goal process for this.

Make your goal Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Losing some weight is not very specific. It means nothing. So if your goal is to lose weight.

Start by asking yourself some questions and writing down your answers:

Specific (Who, What, When, Where)

How much do you want to lose in total?

By what date?

How do you want to lose per week or month?

Measurable (How will I know how I’m doing and when I’m done?)

How will you measure/track your progress?

Achievable (Is this goal real or pie-in-the-sky? Can I do this?)

Can I achieve this goal with my current life demands?


Is my goal realistic? (Losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks is not realistic)?

Does this goal fit into my life or benefit me enough to spend the time?


When will this start/end? Can I reach my goal by the date I set?

Let’s Refine

Now rewrite your original goal statement with everything you added in the SMART Goal Process. It may take several attempts to get your statement just right.

Here’s an example:

To allow me to spend more time comfortably playing with the grandkids, I will lose 20 lbs by June 15, 2019 by losing 1 pound a week. To do this, I will walk 30-45 minutes each day, add 4 servings of fruits and vegetables to my diet every day, cut out all sugary drinks, and limit myself to one small desert per week. I will track my daily progress in a Food & Activity Log.

Ok, it still needs work, but it's come a long way from “I want to lose some weight.”

It’s got my Why, but does it fit the SMART Goal process? You bet!

Let’s look more closely. Is it:

  • Specific - yes
  • Measurable - yes
  • Achievable - yes
  • Realistic - yes, depending on the person
  • Time-Bound - yes.

So by going through this process, I have created a plan that is much more realistic and achievable. The only thing that’s missing is what I will do when I hit those pesky and unavoidable bumps in the road I guarantee will come along.

But that’s a story for another post.

If you followed this process, you might very well salvage or restart your New Year’s Resolution and maybe even succeed this year. I hope so and good lucky.

We'd love to hear what you think. Share your refined goal statement or your thoughts and comments on the process below.

Want help salvaging your resolution?

Schedule a FREE 20-minute call to work on your goal statement.

No Sales Talk, I Promise!

Gary Barclay

About the Author - Gary Barclay

Gary is co-founder of Blue Coral Coaching Solutions. He is a Health Psychologist, Lifestyle Change Coach, and Diabetes Prevention Educator. As a master health and transformational lifestyle expert, world traveler, and public educator, Gary uses his unique combination of training and skills to work with individuals and groups to take their lives to the next level of optimal health and healing, while living the life of their dreams.