Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

New Years Resolutions Fail

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

The new year has started and you’re ready to get rocking! In the blissful moments, after the ball dropped, you pledged to lose weight, get organised, or spend less & save more.

And then you read this: Only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. Darn it!


Why We Fail

Our resolutions are usually not the best way to make goals; they are actually very terrible examples of goals. We often make the mistake of making them too ambitious (e.g. go running 3x per week) and don’t think about how we’re going to achieve them (where do you get the time?) or if the activity you’ve chosen will even help achieve your intended goal (will you lose weight if you compensate the running with extra food?).

Because of this we usually give up, very fast. We see that it’s not working (you only ran twice) and decide that it’s not worth it. We also expect results too quickly; if we haven’t lost 10 kg by the end of January, why even keep running. And that is where the planning fallacy comes into play: we often underestimate how much time a particular task will take us.

And when we make a mistake planning, we usually give up. We also underestimate in what ways we have to change our routines (e.g. go to work a bit later or come home later) and what it takes to achieve this (e.g. bring food to eat right after work/before a workout). We aren’t exactly the best planners.

Yes We Can

Luckily there are ways around these planning problems. All we need to do is make realistic goals, that align behaviour with your intended outcome and that allow for flexibility. Simple, right?

The first step is to take a moment and think about how much effort is needed to achieve your goal. If you want to lose 5 kg this year you need to lose less than 0,5 kg per month. So if you practice running as the only change in your life, you should (only) run for about 1:45 hours per week. Of course, if you make any other changes to your diet or lifestyle you might have to run even less.

The second step is to be flexible. When you miss a workout, just continue to the next one, don’t give up and completely stop running. Another way of being flexible is to schedule more time than needed for your resolution. If you want to go running twice a week, plan three possible moments to always have one reserve.

The third step is to be patient. If you want to lose weight by running, don’t expect to be running marathons after one week of training. At the same time know that after about two months of running about twice a week, you will be very capable of running for 10 km or more without too much difficulty.

Knowing what you really want to achieve, being flexible and patient is the way to achieve your resolution. Good luck!


Shake up the New Year

I hope this information has been useful for achieving your goal. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Queal blog without some suggestions how Queal might help.

  1. Use Queal as your after-work meal. Take Queal to work and when you go to the gym afterwards you can already have a meal and don’t feel hungry throughout the whole routine
  2. Use Queal to track your calories. If you want to lose weight by eating a bit less, then you can know exactly how much you eat with Queal. It’s printed on every bag!
  3. Use Queal for a complete breakfast. Know that you already started the day with 1/3rd of all essential nutrients.


*4325 kcal per 0,5 kg of fat / 62 kcal per km / 4 weeks

Floris Wolswijk

MSc in Industrial & Organisational Psychology. Floris has started two companies before. In his student life, he was President of his Study Association and Director of a Student Strategy Consultancy. He participates in obstacle runs and has energy for two. Getting the right things done is what he gets up for in the morning.

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