The Truth About New Year’s Resolutions & Weight Loss

Have you ever set the exact same New Year’s resolution 2+ years in a row because it just didn’t happen (despite your best intentions)?

Or, have you ever found yourself standing on a scale in February, saying… “I saw that going differently in my mind…”?




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A post shared by Diet-Free Weight Loss Coach (@clarissacabbage)

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If so, no judgement here! 

In fact, if that’s you…. You’re in luck! Because today we’re going to cover why New Year’s Resolutions are so dang hard to stick to, AND how you can make it easier on yourself so you can achieve your weight loss goals in 2022!


Why We Make New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s is a magical time of year. A time for hope, optimism and dreaming of the year to come. 

A time of new beginnings. Fresh starts. Clean slates.

It’s the one time of year when people feel like it’s actually “the right time” to start a new healthy habit or weight loss journey. 

The holidays have just ended. The Christmas cookies and other tempting treats that started showing up in about mid October have finally disappeared…

And for these reasons, people often feel compelled to set New Year’s Resolutions about the changes they intend to make in the coming year.

New Year’s Resolutions: By The Numbers

Did you know that approximately 74% of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions every year?!

That’s roughly 3 out of every 4 people!

And year after year the most common resolutions people make are pretty much the same:

  • 50% – Exercise more
  • 48% – Lose weight
  • 44% – Save money
  • 39% – Eat better

Notice that 3 of the top 4 most common Resolutions each year are health related? 🤔

But here’s the real shocker (at least for me…).

Only 55% of people that set New Year’s Resolutions actually believe that they can achieve them.

That means that 45% of people that set New Year’s resolutions don’t even believe they can achieve their resolutions when they set them!

That just blows my mind! 🤯🤯🤯

Why would people bother to set New Year’s Resolutions that they don’t even think they’re capable of?

They set it, so obviously it’s something they want…

But I think the lack of confidence in their ability to achieve their resolution most likely has to do with the experiences they have had with resolutions in the past…

Do New Year’s Resolutions Actually Work?

The short answer here is: “not usually”. 

In fact, the research shows that about 80% of people give up on New Year’s resolutions by February.


That means, for most people, resolutions last less than 30 days….

But what about those other 20% that make it past February? Are they in it for the long-haul?

Well… a few.

According to a Scranton University study, approximately 90% of people end up throwing in the towel on their New Year’s resolution.

That means only one in 10 people successfully make their new healthy habit part of their lifestyle.

That’s a bit depressing (sorry, not sorry). 

But I don’t say it to bum you out. Or even to discourage you from making New Year’s Resolutions.

I want to be clear.

These stats do NOT mean that people can’t change. And they do not mean that exercising more, losing weight, or eating better are impossible.

But what these stats DO suggest, is that maybe there’s something about New Year’s Resolutions that sets people up for failure before they even get started…. 


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Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work 90% Of The Time

  1. Personal / Peer Pressure – People feel like they are “supposed to” make New Year’s Resolutions, so they do. But often they aren’t fully committed to taking the action necessary to achieve them.
  1. Unrealistic Expectations – People often underestimate the amount of time, effort, & patience it takes to achieve a goal.

For example: believing it will only take 21 days to completely transform their eating and workout habits.

  1. “Go Big Or Go Home” Thinking – People often take a flip the switch / change everything overnight approach to New Year’s Resolutions.

They’re trying to go big, but usually they end up going home disappointed.

  1. Trying To Force It – Many people set the same resolution every year because they didn’t achieve it the year before.

But instead of addressing the root cause of the problems that came up last year… they just “try harder” and end up quitting faster.

  1. Too Focused On The Outcome – People can become so obsessed with their goal that they forget to focus on the everyday actions that will actually get them there. 

It’s like hiking a mountain while keeping their eyes glued to the summit and never glancing down to make sure you’re not tripping on roots and rocks….

If you hike like that, you’re likely to stumble and fall before you reach the summit.

And if the fall is big enough, say you sprain your ankle, it’s likely you’ll have to give up and turn back before you ever get to the summit.

The same is true for goals.

If you focus only on the end point (the number on the scale) and forget to pay attention to all the daily habits and routines you must perform to actually reach that goal… you will likely stumble, become frustrated, and quit on your goal before reaching it. 

How To Make 2022 Your Healthiest Year Yet

For all of the reasons above, New Year’s Resolutions can be hard to accomplish for the vast majority of people.

But you CAN be one of the 10% who sticks to their resolutions ALL year long and successfully makes those good habits part of your new, healthier lifestyle.

But… there is a catch.

In order to get different results, you have to be willing to try a different approach!

So, what do you say? Are you ready to finally achieve that New Years Resolution you’ve been working on for the last few years?

If so, stay tuned right here (or follow me on Instagram @clarissacabbage) for my upcoming post on how to finally make resolutions that stick in 2022!

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Author: clarissa.cabbage

Clarissa is a health coach, autoimmune warrior, and avid adventurer. And she is on a mission to help women escape the diet-culture mentality so they can build healthy habits they actually WANT to stick to - without all the guilt, deprivation and FOMO! When she's not coaching amazing women like yourself, you'll find her outside - hiking, paddling, and hunting for hidden waterfalls on the island of Kauai where she lives with her partner and furry side-kick, Ipo!

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