Why 91% of Us Can’t Keep Our New Year’s Resolutions, And How to Change That

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If you haven’t broken your new year’s resolution yet, congratulations! Yes, we know it’s only mid-January. But according to science, 31% of people have already failed to keep their resolution going. By the time we reach February, this number will have risen to almost 50%. By the end of the year, only 9% of people will feel they successfully achieved their new year’s resolution.


Ready for the good news? If you want to be a part of that 9%, we’re here to help!

By far the most common new year’s resolutions are to lose weight, eat healthier, and make general self-improvements. These goals all have the potential to change our lives in a very positive way, which makes it all the more disappointing when we fail to meet them.

The biggest problem with new year’s resolutions is that we make them without acknowledging the challenges we’ll face trying to uphold them. Instead, we simply rely on our willpower. But willpower is much less reliable than we like to think. Lucky for you, we’ve created a list of the biggest challenges you may come across en route to your resolution goals and how to overcome them.

1. Lack of Motivation

It’s an annual joke that gyms across the country fill with people on New Year’s Day, and then completely empty out by the end of January. Our motivation is strong for the first few days of the year. But this motivation drops off very quickly.

This is one of the reasons why succeeding at your resolution will be the most difficult if you do it alone. When your motivation plummets, how are you supposed to get more? People that tackle their resolutions together are better able to motivate each other. Maybe you and your significant other can help each other eat healthy by keeping junk food out of the house. Or you could form an exercise group with your friends. Check out Strayboots’ fun group activities if you need a place to start.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you and give you positivity and encouragement. Even just telling someone else about your goals will make you more likely to keep them. This gives you accountability. You’ll have another person checking in on your progress towards your goal, and feel a responsibility to stick to it.

Another way to stay motivated is to avoid boring routines. Going to the same gym for the same workout or walking around the same block every day will lose its excitement quickly. Instead, switch up your activities to keep your exercise goals within easy reach! Strayboots’ scavenger hunts and interactive tours are a great way to gamify exercise and get those steps in. You can explore your city and learn new things about the local history while you’re meeting your New Year’s goals. It’s a perfect way to switch up your activities if you’re getting bored on the treadmill.  

2. Feelings of Guilt and Discouragement

Feelings of Guilt and Discouragement

New year’s resolutions are often an all-or-nothing affair. You either go to the gym every single day or you don’t go at all. One hiccup in the routine and your resolution is out the window. This is why you have to plan for exceptions and off days. Your resolution must allow you to take a break every once in a while. If not, you’ll get frustrated by the strict rules that you’ve set for yourself and get discouraged as soon as you fail to meet your own high demands.

Make resolutions that are realistic. Not realistic for a world-class athlete, realistic for you. Instead of vowing to go on a 30-minute run every single day, promise yourself that you’ll try to run twice a week. If you end up doing more, great! But if it’s all you can manage, then you’re still meeting your goals. The satisfaction of knowing you’re trying your best is a rewarding experience, which makes it much more likely that you’ll continue the healthy behavior.

3. Trouble Finding the Time

Many people find it difficult to exercise on a daily basis, especially those who hold a nine-to-five job and have children to care for. It’s easy to say you’ll find the time when you make the resolution, but when you actually have to fit in a walk, run, or trip to the gym, it can be frustrating. It’s easy to throw in the towel and declare that you’ll make new goals when your life opens up. But if you don’t start now, why would start you next year, or the year after that?

Instead, you should break up your resolutions into manageable timeframes. For example, perhaps it’s easier to fit in 150 minutes of weekly physical activity on the weekends, rather than attempting 30 minutes of activity on each weekday. You could get a good chunk of this time out of the way with just one Strayboots scavenger hunt!

Better time management is always up there on the list of new year’s resolutions. Many people want to spend more of their time with friends and family in the New Year. You can do this and tackle your exercise goals at the same time with Strayboots scavenger hunts. They’re great for outings with friends and family because they encourage communication and friendly competition.

4. Trouble Finding New Behaviors to Replace Old Ones

Looking over the city

Let’s say that your resolution is to eat less junk food or spend less time watching Netflix. You’ve vowed to remove these behaviors from your life without providing adequate replacements for them. Make a list of hobbies or activities that you want to do instead of watching TV shows. When it comes to healthy eating, it’s a great idea to learn about healthy food joints in your area so you have healthy options when you need food on the go. Without these alternatives in place, it’s easy to default to old habits.

Strayboots’ custom food and drink scavenger hunts can take you to all the best food spots in your city. These are perfect for exploring popular and locally-run restaurants, which are much more likely to provide healthy food options than are restaurant chains.

Check out our available scavenger hunts for your city and choose one that takes you through food spots. You could try our Williamsburg scavenger hunt that takes participants past trendy Brooklyn restaurants. Or, you can contact us to design a custom food scavenger hunt for your area! Let’s all make the transition to a healthier lifestyle this year.



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