January: The Worst Month To Make Health Resolutions

We do it every year. The first rolls around and – even if we promised ourselves not to – we make resolutions. Resolutions to be healthier, too work out more, to eat better… Little do we know we’re setting ourselves up for failure, because January is the worse possible month to makehealth resolutions. 

I know what you’re thinking: “but it felt so right!”

And it always does. We’re just coming off the high of surviving another crazy family Christmas, we’ve probably got some new – even health related – gadgets to try out, and everyone else is doing it.

Which is exactly why you shouldn’t.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by February. Don’t feel bad, there’s no judgement here. But how could something you feel so passionately about fail so quickly?

Part of the reason for this failure comes down to emotions.

Winter is the holiday marathon season. In just over a month the three biggest holidays are covered with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. There are a lot of emotions involved. Whether you love everything about the season or loath it entirely, emotional energy is spent. More than just a few days can recuperate. 

Most of us look forward to the new year’s festivities — they can be a total blast. But even if you’re indifferent (parent to young child here – we were in bed by 9pm) there are a lot of highs and lows during the season. Which is never a good time to make a serious decision, even if intentions are noble.

Scientists are aware the emotional high following a big decision wanes after about four or five days. Coupled with seasonal stress and those holiday highs-and-lows we just mentioned, many of us are zapped for motivation a week into January. 

And let’s look at the month of January itself.

Typically, it’s cold, dark and dreary. Not exactly the most supportive ambiance for making lifestyle changes.

Then there’s Blue Monday, which has been coined the most depressing day of the year. It typically lands on the third Monday of the month and has to do primarily with the seasonal dreariness and incoming Christmas credit card bills.

All of that to say, there is still no shame in making resolutions on the first.

If it helps you get through the winter and meet your goals, more power to you! As for the rest of us…maybe we’ll just hunker down with a good book and set our goals in the spring.

How do you stay motivated in January? Do you give yourself time to recuperate? I’d love to hear!