Productivity Science Tips & Tricks

The Top 5 Worst New Years Resolutions

January 1, 2021

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The Top 5 Worst New Years Resolutions

Woohoo! 2020 is OVER. Everything bad is in the past and we’re al breathing a sigh of relief and ready to kick 2021 into high-gear. Because after that dumpster-fire-of-a-year… 2021 is going to be the best year ever… right?

Look, we hope so. We really do! We’re all going into this new year with a rush of positive energy and hope, but let’s check our expectations and set ourselves up for true life-changing success.

The beginning of the year (especially THIS year) is a huge boost to our system. A line is drawn in the sand, we look back at what was, and for a moment we feel liberated as we shut the door on everything we didn’t like. It’s like we’ve all just shaken our 2020 etch-a-sketch, clearing off the old year, amped for all the amazing promise of ass-kicking goals that are going to magically happen when the ball drops. And you can’t help it. The energy is all around you. With all that energy and good vibes surrounding you, you can’t help but get hyped for all the changes to come.

If you’re dedicated and stick with it, you bounce into the new year committed AF and killin’ the game. And yet, a few weeks in, we all know too well that endorphins wane and willpower wobbles… and old habits sneak back in. You’re disappointed and might even throw in the towel.

So why does this happen every single year? Pandemic or no, resolutions just never seem to actually work out. Why? Because we’re actually setting ourselves up for failure by focusing on the wrong things. Don’t get us wrong… quitting smoking, getting healthy, being kinder, being more responsible are all great things to aspire to accomplish. But we have to slowly chip away at negative habits instead of expecting godlike perfection from day one.

Here’s our top 5 WORST “New Years Resolutions” if you actually want to change your life.

1. Losing Weight

This is the most obvious bad New Years Resolution. Because it’s bad to lose weight? No. Because it’s not a great goal to focus on. Instead pick small, attainable, realistic goals, that will slowly change your lifestyle and habits.

Don’t just say, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds in 2021.” The truth is, 99% of people who set a weight goal will never achieve it. Because losing weight isn’t an action you can take. It’s a consequence of other actions you did consistently.

So instead of “losing x pounds by March” (which was probably way unrealistic… focus on the physical goals you want to hit. Check out our blog on fitness goals here.

Our top tip: If this was your New Year’s Resolution, we feel you and we understand. But you’ve gotta go a little deeper. Start with self-love. Why do you want to lose weight? Look into that. After self-love and reflection, you might begin to see the problems. Is your body in an unhealthy weight range because you don’t have time to get your body moving? Are you overwhelmed with stress? Do you use food to cope with emotions? Is your diet up and own and inconsistent? Study yourself kindly and begin to create small goals that are personal to you.

2. Going to the Gym (Working out) Everyday

Look, there’s nothing wrong with working out every day! You’ll never hear us say that. But there is if that’s not already your routine or lifestyle and you’re essentially throwing yourself into the deep-end, doubling or tripling your usual work-out regimen overnight and expecting to last.

The key to any real healthy change is consistency. Consistency is a muscle that needs to be worked just as much as your delts. And if you want those massive shoulder boulders, you’re going to need to keep this up for life. So don’t set yourself up for failure. Read more about keeping up with your fitness goals here.

Start where you’re at and just add accountability. If you’re not working out at all, then pick something you actually want to do and do it 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes and be consistent. After a month of total consistency, then you can up your game. Keep going this way through 2021 and by May you actually may succeed at your initial goal. But if you start with unrealistic goals… by March you will have already thrown in the towel.

Our Top Tip: Don’t compare yourself with others and don’t do workouts you don’t actually enjoy. If you want to build a healthy lifestyle you’ll actually want to live… then make it liveable. These days we have access to more information and opinions than ever before, but we also have more access to different at-home workouts than ever before. Play around and let go of perfection. Learn what you love and stick to it.

3. Cut out all… (fill in the blank)

Lots of people start the new year wanting to purge everything toxic from their life. And we understand that desire. However, if your new lifestyle is unbearably strict, you’re going to need to let loose at some point in the year. And when that time comes, if you’re not prepared, you might feel like you’re failing and end up throwing in the towel on the whole thing.

So where do you start? Learn yourself and understand how your body actually reacts to different foods eat. Everyone is an individual. While you may be inspired by social media, know that what worked for someone may not work for you. Go slowly with trial and error to see what foods your body responds well to, and what foods slow you down or make you feel groggy.

Once you know what foods serve you best, focus on consistency. Try the 80/20 rule of building consistency and allowing for your favorite pleasure foods throughout the month or year. But be careful with this “cheat”/”diet” mentality. Your daily food should still be a joy to eat, and your “treats” shouldn’t throw you off.

A common mistake people make is either going way too hard on their cheat days with indulgent behavior that isn’t helping their progress, or their healthy replacements for old favorites are too healthy and leave them unsatisfied and resentful towards their new life.

Pick things to “cheat” with that are truly satisfying, that you love, that feels like cheating, but that won’t leave you with a massive hangover or sugar crash… stalling your progress and tempting you back to the dark-side.

Side Note: Some people may genuinely have to cut out an entire food group, like alcohol, gluten, dairy, nicotine, or sugar due to addiction or allergy for their mental health or physical health. This is different. If you know that something has to go completely, trust your instinct, and get support. Make sure you surround yourself with other people who understand and take it one day at a time. Find everyday replacements that don’t leave you feeling deprived and don’t take on other big challenges or resolutions while you’re focusing on this monumental lifestyle change.

4. Everything At Once

You want a totally new life. New year, new you. Everything’s gonna change now right? You don’t want to just “read more” or “eat better”… you (like Radiohead’s Thom Yorke) want a perfect body and a perfect soul and created a whole list of things you wanted to change this year.

So, here’s January 1st. Today you’re going to quit drinking, cook all your own perfect meals, wake up at 5, start intermittent fasting, drink only water, eat only plants, and switch from coffee to tea, oh and give up all screen time and learn a new language.

Our Advice: Slow down there. Those are all awesome goals, but if you try to tackle everything all at once, even just 3-4 of those at once, your brain is going to be looking for some way to let loose and might sabotage you in the end.

5. Being Perfect

So, you picked a good New Years resolution. You looked at your lifestyle, your goals, did your research and now you’re ready to go. Maybe you’re committing to intermittent fasating, or doing keto, or going vegan, or cutting out processed foods. Either way, it’s something you believe in and take seriously. Really seriously. You jumped into your new years with a black or white, good or bad, success or fail mentality.

While we may be cheering on your conviction and determination, know that perfection doesn’t exist and it’s okay to slip up sometime.

Our advice: Ease up buddy. It’s great to have willpower. It’s great to be strict and give ourselves boundaries. But building a new lifestyle is like knitting, stitch by stitch, repetition, repetition. Day in and day out. If you mess up one stitch, you have to go back, but only a little. It’s not like the whole sweater unraveled. Just pick it back up and keep moving. It’s all about what you do 80% of the time, not 20%. Better to be positive and keep moving, than to beat yourself up and eventually spiral into giving up completely.

Looking into 2021

No matter what you want to accomplish in 2021, know that you’re already great as you are. Go slowly, be consistent, be patient and be kind to yourself. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic. We’re still struggling as a community to do many of the normal things that bring us joy. Go easy and do your best.

Whatever your goals are for 2021. We’re here to help. Want to go vegan? We’ve got plant based plans. Want to workout more? Make time for your workouts with fully-prepped meals delivered to your door. Want to eat a more balanced diet? We have meal plans for every person.

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