How to Make New Year's Resolutions that Stick

How to Make New Year's Resolutions that Stick

By Malia Warren

Brace Yourselves, January is coming.


It’s that time of year where we make New Year's resolutions in order to hold ourselves accountable to change something we don’t like.


A goal could be financially motivated, or self-help related, but almost always, it has something to do with fitness ambitions.


Everyone, and I mean, Everyone, has made a fitness-related goal at some point in their life to start on January 1st. 


How many of those same goal-makers are there on February 1st? Spring? Summer?


Let's stop making Fitness Resolutions.


I mean it.


Instead, let's make Fitness Commitments. You’ll read this everywhere, but let’s not get too crazy with our fitness goals OK? I mean, seriously.


There is NO reason to set a goal to lose more than 2 lbs a week, or ditch sugar completely, or do a 400 lb deadlift when you’ve never lifted weights before. Here’s why:


We’re going to be S.M.A.R.T about our goals!




The ultimate, ultimate goal, is to workout because we love ourselves, not because we hate our bodies. I'm so tired of everything geared towards changing our bodies for a goal - a wedding, a high school reunion, vacation, whatever - why don't we just take care of our bodies all the time? Why limit it to one event?


Does this event define who you are? Probably not, so let's not let it define our goals of overall HEALTH.


New Year's happens once a year - its an event, not a long term occurrence. I think it's time we stop focusing on letting this one thing change our short term thinking.


Smart people make S.M.A.R.T goals

The acronym stands for: 

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Realistic
    • Timely


This should be applied to every single goal you make, especially when it comes to Fitness Goals. You’ve heard it used before, probably in the leadership class your job sent you too. Your eyes likely glazed over and you were left wondering how to get up and use the restroom without everyone noticing.


Either way, here it is again.


The meaning of the Specific part of the mnemonic acronym, when applied to a Fitness Goal, is BE SPECIFIC. Don’t say, “oh I’m gonna lose those last 10 lbs of baby weight in the next month”… ok.




Instead try, “I will go to the gym 3 days a week, track my caloric intake and aim for a deficit, with the goal to burn at least 3,500 calories or more in the week. My goal will be to lose some body fat in 10 weeks with minimal muscle loss”.


The key to proper weight loss is minimizing the loss of muscle. Anyone can lose 10 lbs of body weight, but what happens when 4 lbs of that is muscle? I definitely recommend working with a nutrition coach to help you achieve healthy weight loss goals. I am a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach and would love to help you, I do both in-person and virtual meetings. Click here to schedule one today.


This goal should also be Measurable, which just means that you will be able to track it using real life applications, such as kcal intake and minutes of exercise. When it comes to fitness goals, you can measure in kcals consumed and/or burned, pounds lost, kilos lifted, inches lost, you name it!



Of course, this brings us to the next component: is your goal Achievable?


Like, can you really set a goal to run a marathon in a month, when you haven’t been training with running? Maybe you’re a wizard, and you can, but for the rest of us Muggles, it takes a lot more time to train our bodies to run that grueling distance.


Which leads into the next subject: making Realistic goals.


Giving up Donuts completely is not realistic, or sustainable, I don't recommend it, unless there are dietary considerations. 😂 A realistic goal would be to scale back the number of donuts you consume on a weekly basis: incorporate them into your macros and then adjust and eat around. 


Our final part of the acronym is Timely. Do you actually have time for the goal your setting? No? Then MAKE time.


If it’s important to you, you will make time. We all find ourselves in a slump every now and then. We'll all make excuses of why we cannot leave our house for an hour, escape the kiddos, and sweat out some stress - but in the end it'll be worth it!



Another aspect to look at is: Is your goal Timely in that you are giving yourself enough time to complete the task?


‘Cause let me tell you from experience, having a goal to lose 30 pounds in 6 weeks, isn’t really Timely (nor does it fall in line with any of the S.M.A.R.T mantras), as in, it's not enough time for your body to lose the weight.


On that note, you shouldn’t trust any “program” that brags that you can. It's too fast and not sustainable for your body. You’ll probably be eating Tilapia, broccoli, and brown rice 6 times a day. Boring. And gross.


And, how are you supposed to have a good relationship with food (and your body) if you're teaching it to be deprived of certain foods.


But for real. When picking a goal, or several, this New Year (or any time of the year), try applying the S.M.A.R.T ideas to each goal.


What is your Endgame?


You know, like T. Swift said, I want to be your Endgame.


Like, what real, achievable goals are you going to achieve that will have you saying, heck yes, onto the next one. Or will you be depleted and defeated? This is why making SMART goals is so important.


Let me leave you with this piece: join me in making a fitness commitment, NOT a resolution.

The definition of resolution is: the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just solve a problem, I want to make changes that will last a lifetime.

This means making them and committing to them all year round - not just because we're celebrating the previous years' graduation to the next.


What are your Fitness Commitments? Drop them in the comments below!


 If you have any questions or you would like to be a guest blogger, please email us at


Woman lifting a barbell
Malia is the force behind Lifting the Dream and a proud mompreneur. When she's not lifting heavy weights, she's probably at the beach or Disney with her family. She is a Cali girl born and raised, with salt water in her veins and sunshine in her heart. She and her family now reside in Florida soaking up the sun, heat, and all the amazing outdoor activities this state has to offer.





  • Katie: January 10, 2018

    This a wonderful post! I’ve definitely found the more specific I am about the goals I want to accomplish, the better I am at sticking with it and achieving them!

    P.S. I love the donut photo! :)

  • Kristen : December 30, 2017

    I love everything about this Malia!!! From the SMART goal experience I know you had sitting in the MAP training at CDSS to the Harry Potter references. So looking forward to following your journey and continuing on mine! You are awesome and are always motivating me! ?

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Lift with Us

Want a chance to win a Lifting Belt? We do a monthly giveaway with our subscriber list!

Circle of Life Contour Knee Sleeves

Regular Price
Sale Price
Regular Price
Unit Price
Translation missing: en.general.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
Shop this product


Lifting the Dream is not associated with CrossFit or any other organization mentioned in this article in any way. The opinions expressed in our blog are solely ours and do not reflect the views of CrossFit or any other organization.

Some of the links on our website may be affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. However, we only recommend products and services that we truly believe in and have personally used. Our opinions and recommendations are always honest and unbiased.