Breaking The New Year's Resolution Curse

Wrapping paper shrapnel litters your floor with stale sugar cookie crumbles digging into your cozy socks – in the post-holiday ether, with most of us stuffed on heaps of ham before throat-throttling champagne, everyone has the same idea: switch out the Baby, It's Cold Outside to an EDM Eye of the Tiger because –

"Next year will be different."

You've already fallen for the New Year's resolution trap. Ancient Babylonians and Romans weren't immune to this impulse, either – it's irrepressibly human. Novus annus, novus tu, Brute?

It's as timeless as it is arbitrary. A naysayer may claim that if the 'resolution' idea revolves around newness, then why not seize every new breath, moment, or dawn? Being a slave to the calendar gives you an excuse to wait and, more fatally, to fail. 

They're not wrong.

(Re)solving Your Resolution

No one expects a resolution to work – it's a bug masquerading as a feature, an Etch-a-Sketch in quicksand. A resolution means something's resolved, i.e., finished. But everything's always beginning anew, so these annual masochistic self-promises are often as empty as an aquatic Zumba class for Zoomers, with most fizzing out as soon as your Brut's lost its bubbles.

But people's memories are short, and their attention spans shorter – almost half of all Americans claim to have a New Year's resolution, and the resounding top contender is perpetually some version of working out.

The New Year Fitness Rush

This tradition makes the first month of the year a veritable Gym-uary, with fitness memberships exploding before collapsing into themselves like a black hole as people's initially zealous burst of wide-eyed optimism wavers and recedes. Nearly all of these resolutions are abandoned within a few weeks like half-forgotten Christmas trees left curbside – leaving your aspirations brokenhearted by Valentine's Day. 

Equinox took a contrarian stance on this trend, disallowing new members to join on the first day of the year in step with their We Don't Speak January campaign, all to the predictable chagrin of the internet.

Here at The St. James, we speak January (and every month fluently), and we want your initial fitness wishes to weather the winter and beyond. Let's break this New Year's curse (and a sweat) together by avoiding these minefields and leaning into what works with your 2023 wellness resolutions.

Don't Go At It Alone

Solo workouts from scratch yield about a 50% bailout rate – that's disquieting math and consistently the most glaring blind spot for resolution seekers. With group workouts, that number shrinks to nearly zero. We'll empower your willpower with our athletic-inspired classes and custom PT coaching so you'll have a whole team behind you.

Be Reasonable

Be willing to change what you're willing to change. Your resolution is not etched in biblical stone tablets – it's an ever-moving, organic idea that shifts with you in real time. If your first plan was too intense (or insufficient), recalibrate it to make sense without losing any impact.

Stop Repeating Yourself

Are you trying to shed the same six pounds since Obama was still in office? Mix up or reframe what you're after – putting less emphasis on the digital scale read-out that awaits and more on your cardio conditioning and nutritional tweaks that'll get you there. Destination, meet journey.

Winning Is In The Details

"I want to exercise?" with a shrug won't bring you past January 2nd. Try an exacting number of our Burn, Build, Recover group fitness classes per week, for example. You can also have a built-in reward system for this model – if I knock out three, I've earned myself a sports massage at Courted. Our masseuses are waiting.

Share Your Secret

Just as the network of group classes gives you a ballast, letting people know your resolution, be it on Social on in person, gives you a foundation of accountability that'll provide a potent motivator. Wanting to have the right answer to 'how's that resolution coming?' in February is shockingly effective.

Working (It) Out in 2023

No matter your resolution (or if yours is not having one), winter can be a bleak stretch, and it's understandable for us to mercurially wish and fight against the darker months, hoping to transform, as the world does, by spring's bloom. But change is incremental and constant – Sisyphusian reps, sets, refuels, and recovery every day that struggle to become your new baseline. But take the little victories, learn from your L's, and live in and embrace this grey with grit and resolve – as one morning you'll arise and everything will be in Technicolor. 2024, here we come.