The Top 3 Reasons You Aren’t Meeting Your New Year’s Goals

Mckenzie Johnson, RDN | Billings Clinic Dietitian

As I write this, we are edging towards spring and the so-called “fresh start” to the new year has more than just begun. Many of us find the transition from one year to the next as an opportunity to reflect, reset, and refocus and to set goals for growth in the new year. Along with that often comes many health and wellness related goals.

Sadly, research shows us that a substantial proportion of goals are abandoned by February. If you have already found yourself in this camp, you may be wondering what’s keeping you back from making progress. Here are 3 key reasons why you aren’t meeting your New Year’s goals. Read the tips below and honestly assess yourself to see if any of these factors are true for you.


The transition into the New Year is for many a magical time where your motivation is high, and you are optimist-even idealistic-about the future. You are ready for change and ready to make this next year the best that’s yet to be. Although this feels great, it can often lead you to setting too many or too large of goals. You set unrealistic expectations for yourself, and even if you did meet these goals, any notion of sustainability is out the window. And if your changes cannot be sustained, what’s the point in making them in the first place?


Losing weight because your doctor wants you to? Exercising more because your spouse wants you to? Working on stress management because your boss asked you to? How many of your New Year’s resolutions are based on the wants and needs of somebody else? Now, you may be wanting those things, too, but your main ‘why’ for change is better off coming from you if you want lasting change. So, spend some time thinking about goals that are important to you and why.


We all face a variety of barriers to our personal growth and development, whether it be physical barriers or mindset barriers. And even though the transition between December 31st and January 1st can feel monumental, the reality is that for many of us, not a lot actually changes. We still face the same challenges that we battled with in the past year. Perhaps you deal with lack of time for meal planning or lack of energy for physical activity. If we don’t identify and address these barriers, we will continue to struggle with progress and growth with our goals for the New Year.

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