Keeping motivated – failed resolutions

new years fitness resolutions, staying motivated with failure

How are your New Years fitness resolutions? If you are like most, you are off to a rocky start and are  getting de-motivated. Here’s how to turn it around!  Rather than throwing up your hands, admitting defeat, and waiting till next year to try another fitness resolution, lets try a better approach.

Don’t feel bad if you are not on track with your fitness resolutions, you are in good company – namely, me. I am very experienced at making, and achieving, fitness resolutions and even I mis-step. How you handle the “failure” determines your long term success. If you view it as all or nothing, black and white, failure or success, then you are in trouble. If you view it as a valuable learning experience then you will be very successful long term.

Now is a critical time for you to take a step back and see how you are doing, its been a month since you made your resolutions. Are you on track? Why or why not? Rather than throw up your hands, recalibrate. If your goals were too ambitious considering your other life priorities and commitments, lower your goals – you are allowed to do that because they are YOUR goals.

Lets take my overly ambitious goals for 2013:

  1. Better my 200 mile race time by one hour in 2013
  2. Play beach volleyball once a week, March thru October of 2013
  3. Better my Half Ironman time by 7 minutes in 2013
  4. Do masters swimming once per week in 2013
  5. Finish building my homebuilt aircraft!

I am only a month into the year and its clear that these goals are not realistic, the trouble is the last one – finishing building my airplane that I started in 2001.  Finishing the airplane is my #1 goal for the year and its going to take a LOT more time than I anticipated so that means I have to prune down my other goals.  I can’t manufacture time, there are only 24hrs in a day and the sooner I adapt my goals to that the happier I will be.   I am really excited about being more active in beach volleyball so I want to keep that goal, that only leaves my race related goals.  Training for triathlons and double centuries is very time intensive and I just dont have time to compete this year.  Goals 1, 3, and 4 above are all race related goals that I need to give up to make time to succeed in goals 2 and 5.  So, here are my new “reality-checked” goals for 2013:

  1. Keep in good cardio shape by doing 30-60min cardio every day
  2. Maintain muscle mass and strength with four hours of weight workouts a week
  3. Play beach volleyball once a week, March thru October of 2013
  4. Finish building my homebuilt aircraft!


Am I a failure for failing my goals so early in the year?  Certainly not!  I was just overly ambitious.  Learn, adapt, and move on!  You will be surprised how much more motivated you feel when you have fine-tuned your goals to be achievable!


new years fitness resolutions, staying motivated with failure


Keeping motivated – failed resolutions

24 thoughts on “Keeping motivated – failed resolutions”

  1. Hi Scooby, thanks so much for this post. I just rechecked my goals because there were too many and too strict. I feel that now my more realistic goals are going to help me stay on track. Thanks!

  2. Really nice post Scooby. It’s always better to do at least something you can achieve in the time given than doing nothing and being frustrated. I’ve got to remember this every time the finals are coming…:)

  3. Hey scooby! My issue with keeping my new years resolution is discouragement when you do everything you were suppose to do and you do not see results. My resolution was to get ripped for summer 2013 by shedding my 24% body fat to my dream % of 8%. I watched all your videos and traded off my love for pizza and cheasesteaks for protein shakes and grilled chicken. I was so excited that I even started a month before new years. Eating clean everyday with one cheat meal a week i was in a caloric deficit of -800 on average. I lifted weights, doing full body workouts 3 times a week. I walk 4 miles a day commuting back and fourth from home to work. The first month I lost 6 lbs and I couldn’t be happier, I was on my way to making the greatest change of my life. Sadly, the following month I lost not a single pound & According to my fat body composition scale my BF% didn’t change either from the previous month at 20% BF. I really don’t know what to do but giving up is not an option! I was thinking about doing high/low level intensity cardio on the days i’m not lifting weights and increase my food intake a little, although in the end it will be the same amount of calories burnt the same deficit perhaps the high/low intensity cardio will make my metabolism faster? Or maybe i should just do the high/low without eating more calories? or maybe I should just eat less and that will do the trick? I just got discouraged and upset that I hit a plateau so early in the game at 20% BF… I have been trying to get your attention on the askscooby forum where I tell my story in detail there under nutrition and under fat loss/cardio. What should I do scooby, your the expert I need your help. Thanks in advance :) Markalex777

  4. First of all, I’m sorry if I make any grammar mistake.

    I just finished my program the week before last week, so I didn’t have time to failure xD. I had an injury that have maked me to stop my workouts for 4 months!! My new goals are about recovering strength, endurance and, also, shape:

    1) Before april:

    – Run as faster as I could do before the injury during, at least, 20 minutes.
    – Do, easily, 20 push-ups again (Near to achieve it, I have very strong pecs)
    – Do, easily, 10 chin-ups again.

    2) Before 10th of June.

    – Run at least for 50 minutes about 10km/h. And without getting tired.
    – Weight: 80 kg again.
    – 20 km of mountain-biking without any rest.

    I think this goals are realistic, but maybe unambitious.

  5. cmon scooby, it’s january 30th. you’ve given up on 60% of your ambitions with only 7% of the year gone? your readers need your race reports for motivation (k maybe just me)

  6. Scooby,
    Nice post on reality.

    I like how you’re a real person …When using the S.M.A.R.T method for goals “R” stands for realistic
    Could you please be my neighbor ? :>)

  7. compound stuff, pushups and chinups for example. like 8 sets of each, as many as you can do per set with a minute between. Every third day would keep what you have maintained

    1. The ‘before’ is a fat suit, the ‘after’ is photoshopped. I reused the image from my “Insta-Abs” mock infomercial. I have never looked as good as that ‘after’ photo.

  8. I think this is a really good reminder, for goals of any sort. It’s can be so easy to get hung up on perceived failure when you begin to realize that for some reason you’re not going to be able to meet your goals. Assess the situation, make a new plan/goals, and get back on the track to achieving said goals.

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