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  • Writer's pictureBecca Terkelsen


As a fitness professional for nearly 20 years now, I have seen my fair share of New Year's resolutioners hit the gym in January, only to quickly fizzle out. Right at the start of the year, motivation is at an all time high, and those shiny new sneakers and on-trend workout outfits only add to the post-holiday desire to get moving.

But as January fades into February, I watch the cardio equipment go from whirls of infinite motion to a sea of steel that starts to collect dust. The group exercise classes seem as if they will burst at the seams... then suddenly, there is plenty of extra arm and leg room for everyone. New faces slowly make way for the regulars who have been patiently waiting to get their usual spots and machines back.

Absolutely none of this is observed with judgement. It's human nature to want to make a BIG change and just jump in full force. Combined with the myriad of marketing messages that tell us to "start the new year off like you mean it" –well, it's pretty hard not to get swept up in the hype of a new year and a new start.

After watching fitness resolutions fizzle, my advice is simple. Don't give anything up; rather, resolve to add something you love. Take stock of where your life is right now, and list everything you are grateful for. Then find something on that list you can expand upon, improve upon, or make last longer.

Don't give anything up; rather, resolve to add something you love.

Say you have always wanted to run a marathon. Maybe it’s a secret dream of yours, even though you have never run a road race in your life. You may think I’m about to tell you, “SIGN UP FOR THAT MARATHON AND GET TRAINING!” Spoiler – I’m not. A marathon is HUGE! It takes months of dedication and training, and if you are starting from the couch, you may just be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, make yourself a promise that you won't break – a promise that makes you feel good yet is very attainable. Maybe you decide to add one jog or run to your week. Or to join a couch to 5K group. Or sign up for your first “fun run”. Just make one step toward your goal, and you will find that the next step will happen!

The secret to successful change is focus.

So this New Years Eve, resolve not to resolve! The secret to successful change is focus. Rather than putting your energy into fighting what isn’t working, focus on building the new. Acknowledge all that you have to be grateful for and think of one way you can add more of that to your life. Make a promise to yourself to do something you will LOVE.

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