The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Your New Year’s Resolutions Done

Everyone hates to fail.  Making those yearly resolutions come with the chance that you might not follow through. If you don’t succeed, you may feel like you have failed yourself. But when your new year’s resolutions are about improving your health or fitness, following just a few Do’s and Don’ts, can set you up for SUCCESS instead of letting yourself down.

New Year's resolutions Do's and Don'ts

Don’t set non-specific, open ended goals

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts you can put into practice now:

Weight Loss Goals

DON’T:  say, “I want to lose weight.”
DO:  Assign an exact number and completion date.
EXAMPLE:  “I will lose 15 lbs. in 10 weeks” or “I will lose 25 lbs by Memorial Day.” Put it in on your calendar or somewhere you can be reminded every day.


  • Work backwards from that date to see how many pounds that is per week and how many calories mean you need to expend per day.
  • Pick the most feasible approach for your lifestyle such as what types of workouts you might enjoy and what foods you need to cut back on (the ones you tend to binge on or that throw you off the wagon).
  • When you set your time frame, make sure it’s manageable and realistic (5 lbs of fat loss in a week is not, 1.5 lbs is). Then you can repeat and repeat until you get to the final goal.
  • There are plenty of tracking apps that are perfect for this like, My Fitness Pal or Lose It!. Or go pro and get a trainer, nutritionist or health coach to create a personal plan for you.

Weight loss is a delicate dance between calories in vs. calories out. Some people burn faster than others for and some foods absorb more easily making them harder to burn off. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional or ask a buddy to commit with you and keep each other accountable. Hiring someone makes you more likely to stick to it. You don’t need to go it alone.

Better Nutrition Habits / Healthy Eating Goals

DON’T: say, “I want to eat healthier” or, “I want to eat healthier to lose help me lose weight.”
DO: Choose a nutrition lifestyle to follow that vibes with your beliefs.
EXAMPLE: “I am going to eat half a plate of veggies at every meal with one portion of lean proteins and watch my sugar intake by reading all my food labels.” Or, “I am going cut back on processed foods by following a more plant based diet.”


  • Buy a book, join an online community or hire a nationally accredited Nutrition / Health Coach for the eating style that appeals to you most.
  • Examples are: Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Ketogenic, Mediterranean, or Intermittent Fasting diets. You can ease into it, unless you know the cold turkey approach is best for you.
  • Follow podcasts on the eating style that appeals to you most, or influencers on Instagram. You will find plenty of resources once you start a simple search! Recipes, newsletters and advice forums for all of these diet styles are abundant. You won’t be alone even if you’re the only one of your friends doing it.


Fitness Goals

DON’T: say, “I’m going to workout more” or, “I’m going to run a marathon this year.”
DO: Join a gym, hire a trainer / coach or buy DVDs or an online workout video membership. Then, set up a schedule that works with your current lifestyle. For a marathon goal, sign up for a few shorter distance runs first to boost your confidence.
EXAMPLE: say, “I’m will take these 4 classes a week at the gym.” Or, I will hire a trainer for 3 sessions a week and do one workout a week alone of cardio or yoga.” For marathons say, “I will run a total of 5 miles a week for the first month, then add one mile every month (or every other week if I’m jamming).”


  • Set a training schedule. Make it as excuse proof as possible. We all know S#!T happens.
  • If you have a job with unpredictable hours, keep a gym bag or your running gear in the car.
  • If you need to do early morning workouts, pack your bag the night before and have your workout gear laid out right in front of your bed. Set the alarm extra early in case you hit the snooze button once or twice. Set you coffee maker to go off before your alarm.
  • Ask a buddy to do it with you and put money on it. Researcher found loss aversion is a powerful motivator! If either of you cancels, that person donates a set dollar amount to a charity they hate, or pay the other person as if losing a bet. The dollar amount must not be negligible (make it hurt enough to motivate you)!
  • Have back up plans for when life gets in the way. Keep good workout DVDs close to the TV or laptop or keep a written out home workout handy. Keep it simple!
  • For marathons, go to a booking site and sign up for over the next 6 – 8 months. Start with a 5K and work up from there, setting the bar a little higher for each time.

Be KIND to yourself.  Everybody slips up and falls back.  The trick is to catch yourself before you slide too far.  If you miss a workout or blow a meal, you don’t need to do a double or triple workout the day.  But you can do a more intense workout, or cut a meal in half.  The secret is to just strive for 10% better the next day!

Jill Brown
Jill Brown
Hi, I'm JillI am a Los Angeles based Fitness + Nutrition Coach. With 20+ years of experience in teaching, training and continuing my education, I have transformed thousands of lives through fitness and healthy lifestyle changes.