What to do if your New Year’s Resolution is falling short

by Ryan Wagner

Well, it’s that time of year again, isn’t it? The time when most New Year’s resolutions have faded away. But it’s also the time of year when people realize that if their resolution still has a chance, something has to happen. Something has to change. And so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that during the final two weeks of January, I tend to get more requests for training via my contact form than at other times of the year. Regardless, there are some things you should bear in mind if your New Year’s resolution is falling short and you want to get back on track.

Program yourself

Here’s something very important that I want you to remember: Your inner dialog will determine the quality of your life.

What this means is that the more time you spend thinking negative thoughts – “I can’t make it to the gym today,” “I’m too out of shape,” “People will think that I don’t belong there,” etc. – the more you are going to believe it. I call this negative programming. Instead of focusing on the positive, you focus on the negative. You create a story line for why things won’t work – why you can’t make 2016 the year you get healthy.

Looking for validation? You’ll find it.

And if ever there was an amplifier for negative programming, it can be your critics. Sometimes even your friends and colleagues will turn out to be your biggest critics.

If you’ve found yourself standing around the water cooler and expressing your dismay to your colleagues – “I don’t have time for my new fitness program,” “It’s just so difficult to make my 3 workouts a week that my trainer told me I should aim for…”, etc. – guess what? They will probably agree with you.

Fortunately, this works both ways. If you surround yourself with fit people, the ones that go to the gym regularly because they want to. Or the very busy people that have found a way to make it happen, well, these people are going to encourage you.

You can do two things: Firstly, tune out the critics. On the topic of fitness, if they can’t get their butts in the gym either, then they are certainly not going to encourage you to do so – it would make them look bad! Secondly, you can make an honest effort to surround yourself with healthy people. Seek out the coworkers and neighbors and friends who frequent the gym, or at the very least, have a disciplined approach to their health and wellness. After all, they live the same 24 hours each day that you do. Are they any busier than you are? Probably not. But somehow they have found a way to stay healthy. These people are your mentors and biggest advocates. Share with them your fitness goals and they will agree with you!

If you’re looking for validation, be it negative or positive, you’ll find it.

You’re on your own

Forgive me for being so blunt, but if you’re looking to get fit in 2016, you’re on your own. Yes, you have resources galore on the Internet and if you’re lucky, some advocates that can help you. But at the end of the day, you can only hold one person accountable if you didn’t make healthy decisions: Yourself.

But you know what? This realization isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it can be a confidence booster. You see, after you make just a few positive steps – signing up for a gym membership, going for a brisk walk over your lunch hour – you’ll begin to realize that you can do it. That you can make time for movement and that you can make some healthy decisions.

You aren’t dependent. You can make the good choices.

And that can be a turning point if you let it.


Something I once heard that really resonated was that motivation is nonsense.

What?! Why? Well, because motivation doesn’t really get you anything. It may get you going, but it won’t get you to your goals and aspirations.

So, if your New Year’s resolution is falling short, then what do you need? Discipline.

Discipline is what gets the job done. It’s what gets you out of bed at 6:00 am versus 7:15 am. But most importantly, it’s what helps you to create…


And good habits are what makes the difference between wishful thinking and getting where you want to be. Fitness is a great example. Losing 40 pounds or adding 100 lbs to your deadlift is not going to happen quickly. It’s going to take some real focused effort. It’s going to take a lot of small steps that add up to a big change.

Presently, you may not be the type of person that visits the gym 3 times a week. Your newly minted gym membership card may be the closest you’ve gotten to the gym! So I can completely understand that getting into a serious fitness routine is a big deal. It’s going to be a big change in your life.

Your values may have to change

Do you like staying up late to watch TV before you go to bed? Is there a reason you have to sleep in to 8:00 am every day besides being lazy? Be honest with yourself. If you put sleeping in late every day or going out with friends to drink ahead of your fitness resolution, then it’s not going to happen.

Simply put, you may have to realign your values to achieve your goal.

Wrap up

If over the past couple of weeks you feel like your New Year’s resolution is falling short, then I hope this post has helped you to get back on track. And if you’re uber-fit and you have no problem making it to the gym or doing what it is that you need to do, then awesome! And thank you for reading all the way to the end! But I bet you know someone who could use some help. Forward this post on to them. Better yet, offer your guidance and support, should they need it.

Happy lifting everyone,



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