A New Beginning: How to make the most of your New Year's fitness resolution.

By Guest Editor on Jan 9, 2017

It is estimated that 40 to 60 percent of New Year's resolutions are to lose weight, but with a failure rate of more than 92 percent, what is the real problem? We sat down with certified fitness group trainer, Alison Sherman to find out.

If you have a big goal, what should you do to start?

It's all about focusing on each day. You want to have your end goal in mind, but that may be overwhelming for some, small goals help. Set daily goals that will help you achieve your end goal and remember that by achieving these daily goals, you are one step closer to that end goal! For example, get a cute water bottle that will ensure you drink at least half your body weight in ounces. Schedule your daily workouts on your calendar. Meal prep and/or menu prep each week. Set out your workout clothes and shoes as a reminder of that day’s workout. Create rewards for reaching small goals like a new workout outfit, massage, or new tunes for your playlist. Keep healthy snacks with you at all times so that you don’t get too hungry and end up overeating whatever you can get your hands on!

What is the benefit of having smaller goals in addition to your overall goal?

Smaller goals allow you to see that goal and actually reach it! If we only have big end goals, most of us will never get there. Big end goals can be too overwhelming and seem unattainable. I don't know about you, but when I feel overwhelmed, I actually do nothing! That’s definitely not helping me reach my end goal. By setting smaller goals, you feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement each time you reach one, which will then help motivate you to keep going!

Can you recommend classes or exercises that would set a good foundation for a fitness lifestyle change?

Honestly, any class or type of exercise that someone enjoys and wants to do is going to be the best choice. If someone is brand new to exercise, start small. Choose one or two types of activities to start with. Once the foundation is laid, I'd suggest a well-rounded approach to exercise, meaning a variety of workouts. Your body and muscles move and work in many different ways on a daily basis, so your exercise choices should support that variety like walking, yoga, resistance training, and dancing takes you through various plains of motion and movement, which support every day life.

Everyone has a bad day at the gym. Can you share tips on how to overcome the tough days?

There are definitely days that feel so much harder than others and that's normal. Consistency is key, especially on the tough days. We all have bad days, but the important thing is to not allow it to get you off course. Accept it for what it is, be proud of yourself for at least moving your body, and then focus on that next workout.  On days that you may not feel motivated, I'd suggest either attending a group fitness class or scheduling a workout with a friend. There’s built-in accountability.

Outside of the gym, what steps should someone take to cultivate a healthier lifestyle?

There are so many ways to live a healthier lifestyle and every little bit helps. Drink more water (and less of the other stuff). Park your car a little further away and walk. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Try to add more produce to each meal. Rather than meeting friends for happy hour, meet for a fun class or walk together. Get enough sleep. Limit processed food and keep tempting foods out of the house. Find ways to reduce stress either through meditating, yoga or talking to someone. Surround yourself with healthy, like-minded people.