3 Simple Tips to Conquer Your New Years Resolutions


New Years 2015

It’s that time of year again, when we all start looking back on our lives and reflecting on all our accomplishments, hopes, dreams, failures, lessons learned, victories, defeats, and what you plan to achieve this upcoming new year. I always love this time of the year. Today, I looked back on all my previous goals from last January, and while I was extremely happy to see I had achieved many of them for 2014, I am looking forward to setting and accomplishing even more goals in 2015.

Since becoming a certified personal trainer almost seven years ago, I have learned so much about setting and attaining many things that at first glance would have seemed impossible. I have had the pleasure of helping hundreds of clients lose thousands of pounds from all ages and athletic abilities. I wake up most mornings around 5 a.m. to meet with my clients. While most people find this to be crazy, I absolutely love it. I wake up every morning with a purpose to help others feel better about themselves both physically and emotionally. I believe that anyone can achieve whatever goals they set. While most great things in life don’t come easy, they won’t come at all if you don’t visualize yourself attaining it.  Below are 3 simple yet life changing tips to help you start your New Year of right.

1. Write down your goals. Too many people set goals, but don’t record them. Your likelihood of succeeding increases dramatically just by writing them down. In 1979, a Harvard MBA program asked graduate students, “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” The result -only 3% had written down their goals and plans, 13% had goals, but they weren’t in writing and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the result was absolutely mind-blowing.

The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, was earning twice the amount of the 84% who didn’t have any goals. The 3% who had written their goals were earning an average of ten times more than the combined total of the other 97%!

Whenever I meet a client for the first time I start by asking them several simple questions to help identify what they hope to accomplish. First, I ask them, “what are your goals?” For example, let’s say a client says they want to “lose weight and reduce my body fat.”

Example: My goals are to lose weight and reduce my body fat. 

2. Create a Clear Vision. The first step to creating a goal is to figure out what you want. Be specific. The more detailed you are with your vision, the more easily you can set a course of action.

The next question I ask, “do you have a set goal weight or body fat you would like to see yourself at?” This enables them to set a quantifiable or measurable goal.

While the first two questions answer the core objective which is to identify a specific goal, I ask one more question to sum this up: “Why do you want to achieve x, y, and z?” By asking my clients to identify their why, they are reminded about what their ideal body composition. This comes handy when many obstacles arise (birthdays. holiday parties, vacations, etc.), which may slow them down along their journey to accomplishing their goals. It is a good reminder to remember why when you hit a plateau.

Example: My goal is to lose 20 lbs. and reduce my body fat by at least 5% by my birthday trip to Cabo. 

3. Set Specific Deadlines/Benchmarks. Start setting an attainable long term goal. Then, break big steps into smaller steps until goals seem less daunting and achievable. Benchmarks are a great way to keep you on track. You may find you are moving more quickly or slowly than you expected. That’s not a problem – you can adjust! Alter your expectations and timeline as you gather more information while achieving your benchmarks.

My clients and I set daily and weekly goals for their caloric intake and their exercise. If you break up these goals into smaller, measurable steps, and assign realistic time frames to each, you are more likely to stay on track and hold yourself accountable along the way!

Example: My daily goal is to consume 1500 calories daily, burn 600 calories every day from exercise, and have a caloric deficit of at least 500 calories each day.

Cheat Sheet

1. Ask yourself what goals you would like to accomplish for 2015? 

First, start by setting some board goals. Ex. I want to lose weight, travel more, make a career change

2. How much weight would you like to lose? How many would you like to take this year? What other careers would you like to pursue? What do I need to enter into those careers/industries?

Break down your broad goals into more specific goals with set numbers or metrics to help you give you set benchmarks to measure and track your progress. Try and set somewhat realistic goals, but don’t be afraid to still be somewhat aggressive and take some long shots. Michael Jordan missed many more shots then he made when the game was on the line. The only ones most of us remember are the times he succeeded. Ex. I need to lose 20 pounds. I will take 4 trips this year. I’m going to become a personal trainer. I need to become certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

3. When do you need to lose 20 lbs. by? How much do I need to lose each week? Each month? When would you like to go on each specific trip? What are the dates of each trip? When do you need to have them booked by?

Once you have identified you specific goals, you need to map out what you need to do in order to accomplish these goals. Set micro or smaller goals that help build up to you achieving or accomplishing goal or goals. State your goals as definitives such as “I will” not “I hope to”. Be confident in your decision and any obstacles you may come across will melt away with your persistance. Ex. I will weigh 20 pounds. less by my birthday trip to Cabo, Mexico by May 27th, 2015. I will be in Cabo by May 27th. I would like to go to Peru by June 28th. I will be in Greece by September 21st. I will be in Australia by December 15th, 2015. I will study until March and take my NASM certification by March 28th. I will start interviewing for personal training jobs by May 1st and be employees by June 1st.