New Year’s resolution to get fit–what can go wrong?

2021 written on track

Whatever the psyche behind New Year’s resolutions, they are a big thing in the fitness world. Chances are, sitting at your desk before the holidays, you were not considering joining a new gym in December. You were thinking “I have Christmas, New Year’s Eve and time off work–there’s no point”.

There is no time like the present to become health-focused, but that’s not what this article is about.

When you do get around to your health on January 1, you will join many others with statements like “I am not drinking again until 2022”, “this is the year I will finally lose 10kg”, and “I’m doing a January cleanse”!

Resolutions: do they actually work?

How often do you actually stick with your resolutions? Motivation is a fleeting instrument and cannot be relied upon to still be there in two weeks’ time at Friday night drinks after you’ve returned to work and realised your workload is greater than ever.

The other issue is that health does not work with an all or nothing approach. You do not need to be doing Keto and/or Spartan to get results, when your alternative is to do absolutely nothing at all. This is where resolutions can see you not only suck any motivation you may have at other times in the year, but they can also be dangerous.

The drawbacks of resolutions

Going from zero exercise for six months and jumping straight into six bootcamp sessions on 2 January is a recipe for disaster.


Firstly, the likelihood of injury in these circumstances is extremely high. Through your inactivity for months prior, you have lost mobility, agility, strength and endurance just to name a few. If you are prone to issues like lower back pain, you are putting yourself through an immense amount of strain and almost guaranteeing injury.

Secondly, you are probably destroying your motivation for February. You will quickly burn out with this all or nothing approach, and your motivation will flood out of you before courts even open back up for 2021.

What should I do instead?

Make a plan.

How many sessions per week will fit into your schedule when you are snowed under with briefs and appearances in May? What times will work best with that schedule? Are you likely to get stuck late in the office? Sounds like you’ll need to schedule morning sessions.

View your fitness resolution long term, and start yourself out slow, on your own time. We always encourage our members to walk out of our doors after their sessions for the first month feeling like they only gave 75% effort. We want them to say “I think I could have done more”. Gone are the days of Jillian Michaels screaming in the faces of people running their third hour on the treadmill–the fitness industry has developed beyond just fitness and into all-round wellness.

Ellie Bowden is the Owner, Manager and CrossFit/Nutrition Coach at Cultivar Health in West End. Ellie was admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2018 and has worked as a legal officer at the ODPP and WorkCover Prosecutions. If you have a New Year’s Resolution to find your health again and you don’t know where to begin, contact to make a feasible plan, together.

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