Everyone knows most New Year’s resolutions do not work. In fact, they fail miserably within the first month. People stick with lifestyle changes for a few weeks before falling back in to the same routine and giving up on their resolution until next January. If you’d like this year to be different, here are a few things you must AVOID:

  1. Becoming an OUGHT self. Sustained desired change is created by the activation of the PEA (Positive Emotional Affecters) or positive feelings. It’s stimulated while trying to become more like our IDEAL self, or the person we really want to be. Unfortunately, people have a tendency of becoming who OTHERS want them to be. This activates the NEA (Negative Emotional Affecters) and creates negative emotion, leading to short term behavioral change rather than sustained desired change (Oosten). First things first, think of the person YOU really want to become before creating a resolution. Let the fire on the inside drive you, not desires of other people.


  1. Doing things on your own. It’s great to be self motivated, but life is much better when spent in community. While trying to create change, it helps to have a close friend along for the ride; especially one who challenges you to become your IDEAL self. With a friend, you feel more confident and comfortable in the gym, not to mention you’ll have a ton more fun. Secondly, friends will DRAG you to the gym on days you’re feeling lazy (If you pick the right kind of friend) and you’ll be able to do the same for them. Lastly, they will be an encouragement and shoulder to lean on when you’re ready to give up. It’s a lot easier to stay standing when there is someone beside you.


  1. Telling everyone about your goals. It’s strange, when goals are shared with boatloads of people; it seems to decrease our chances of achieving them. In my mind, telling everyone is a way to feel secure. I’ve noticed there is an urge share goals when we don’t believe they’re possible. It seems to be a form of insecurity. Goals should only be shared with a small group of trusted people, who will be able to encourage you as troubles come your way. Think of it like this; if the world knows about your goals you probably will not be successful. First of all, you’ve spent your time telling the world instead of taking action and secondly, the world will do its best to tear you down and minimize your ambition.


  1. Listening to the scale. It makes me cringe when people rely on the scale for measurements. It’s an inaccurate way to track fitness levels! It would be like me trying to gauge how good of a football player you are by looking at the size of your feet. The metric can help every once in awhile, but it certainly isn’t consistent. And I’m guaranteed to miss out on good players if foot size is the only thing I consider. What’s even worse is people base their confidence levels off what the scale says! Your weight, will NEVER define who you are. It’s only a number; meaning it can’t represent the greatest miracle in the world. Now, if you are driven by numbers I would encourage you to focus on one that means a bit more; like the amount of times you say “I love you” each day. For fitness, throw the scale to the side and use before, during and after pictures. It’s always nice to get a glimpse of a miracle .


  1. Focusing on moving from A to Z. Instead, you must focus on getting from A to B. If you were a baseball player, and tried to hit a home run every time you got up to bat you’d leave each game feeling like a failure. Here is the crazy part; you could be hitting multiple singles, doubles, and triples each game while leading your team to victory, but if you’re focused on a home run you will never feel fulfilled. In the same way, if we always look for the HUGE change in our lives we will become disheartened, even when we’ve been making consistent progress. Change comes from focusing on the next step, not the final destination. Be grateful for the base hits; you’re moving toward victory.


This is a great time of year, and an even better time to make change in your life. You can do the things you set your mind to. Let’s make 2016 the best year of our lives!

Happy New Year!

Fitness Will Be Greater.

~Brad Jarrett

Works Cited

Oosten, Ellen Van. "Role of Positive and Negative Emotional Affectors." Lecture.