Build a Better New Years Resolution



by Hailey Brady, BS, ACSM-CPT

We all know what will happen in gyms across the nation come January first. While it may not be quite at drastic in a corporate wellness setting such as LifeStart, we’re certainly not exempt. According to Forbes, it's estimated "more than 40% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions" yet only 8% actually achieve their goal/ resolution. The Journal of Clinical Psychology states nearly 50% of people make New Year’s Resolutions. Clearly, there is a disconnect.

With the New Year quickly approaching we asked the professionals what they suggest when setting resolutions. Keep reading to hear tips, tricks, and suggestions from the pros!

Linda Mueller, CPT - General Manager

Here is a quote that comes to mind: As any Chicagoan will tell you, the bold statement ''make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood'' should be credited to Daniel Burnham, the architect who, along with John Root, planned the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

And while I normally like and respect that philosophy, I don't think it applies to resolutions or working out.  I think things fail because people make "big plans" like, I'm going to lose 20 pounds or, I'm going to go to the gym every morning.  Those things are doomed to fail.  How about starting out small?  How about something more like:  this week I'm going to take the stairs instead of the escalator, or, this week I'm going to drink unsweetened iced tea instead of a frappuccino.  I believe the small improvements we make in life can add up into an overall better lifestyle change, otherwise it becomes an all or nothing approach.

Cara Simpson, RD, CPT, CHC - General Manager Club Samsung

Improve resolutions by testing them out the last couple weeks of December. If it doesn't work during those two weeks, it probably won't work in the New Year as the temptations will always be there!

Katie Schwartz, CPT - General Manager

In my experience the more verbal you are regarding your resolution the more likely you are to succeed. For example, If I post my resolution on social media, announce it to all of my co-workers, family and friends, write it down and have it as the screensaver on my computer, or as the wallpaper to my phone or tablet; there will be constant reminders everywhere both from myself, as well as those around me to hold me accountable.

Ashley Schroeder, CPT - Fitness Director

Approach the New Year's Resolution in a completely different direction! Instead of focusing on a generalized goal such as "losing weight" or "eating better," focus on goals that will help you obtain what your mission is. For example, set mental goals such as "I will devote 3 mornings of my week to stretching and meditation." Take on being more mindful in your day and spending time for yourself. That way if you don't see instant weight loss goals or the holiday treats continue into 2018 you aren't disappointed in yourself.  Get involved with working with a trainer.

I have seen clients find success in sticking to a schedule! They block off a certain time everyday to get down to the gym. We train together three times per week and they have 2 days to workout on their own. Hiring a trainer not only can hold you accountable but also provides you something to look forward to, helps to improve your form and overall fitness level.

Find something that's fun for YOU! If you don't like doing a cardio on a treadmill DON'T DO IT! Get your cardio from a group fitness class or incorporating cardio bursts into your workout such as jumping rope, burpees, squat jumps, etc. Don't make your workout something you dread.

Becca Egan, CPT - General Manager

Do it week by week and add small new goals each week. For example:

Week 1: drink water
Week 2: drink water and go to the gym 2x this week
Week 3: drink water and go to the gym 2x this week and log your food
Week 4: drink water and go to the gym 3x this week and log your food
Week 5: drink water and go to the gym 3x this week and log your food and try a new healthy recipe

This makes it seem less intimidating and you're reaching a goal every week!

Erin Kelly, CPT - Fitness Director

Get your family and friends on board! The more support you have with your New Year's resolution the more likely you are to be successful. Tell a significant other or room mate how important this resolution is for you and to have them help you stay on track. There will be days where you're on fire and other days where you start to make excuses that it's "okay" to break your resolution. Having someone on your side that sees you often keeping you accountable is everything!

Breana Veckov, CPT - Sheetz Exercise Physiologist

When thinking of your New Year resolution, it's important to choose something that you can measure. For example, if your resolution is to exercise more, set a step goal that you can track with a Fitbit or other device. When you are able to see your progress "in real time," you know if you have to increase your activity to meet your goal. You can then plan your day accordingly. If you find that you are consistently not meeting your goal, it's time to adjust. See what you are currently doing and set your goal based off of that. If your goal was 10,000 steps each day but you find that you are getting 7,500 steps each day, there's no harm in lowering your goal to 8,500 or 9,000 steps. A goal that is too difficult to reach is often given up on, but a smaller goal that is within reach requires you to work a little harder but not so much that you will "burn out" before your resolution is met.