a new year. a new approach.

The beginning of a new year is always bitter sweet. We are forced to reflect on the entirety of the year before – the good, the bad, our accomplishments, our failures – and challenge ourselves to move onward and upward in an effort to do better this time around.

I myself have never been a huge fan of resolutions. At least not in the dramatic, life altering sense that so many subscribe to when the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Day.

As a trainer and health fanatic, I hear the normal gamut of resolutions every year.

“I want to lose weight.”

“I want to eat healthier.”

“…workout more, become a vegan, eliminate sugar, climb Mt. Everest, go paleo, blah blah blah.”

Such colossal and often ambiguous resolutions tend to make us feel inadequate and unaccomplished and this is not the way to start the New Year on a positive note. While the motivation behind all of these resolutions is solid (they are all grounded in the idea of becoming a “better” version of you), these are large life changes that take time. Jumping into the New Year with the expectation that you will be able to hold to these resolutions without a proper plan in place is like trying to run a marathon before learning to jog.

Instead, I strongly suggest making small tweaks in your daily life that focus on becoming an all around better human. Set LIFE GOALS, not merely resolutions, and use my three tips below to achieve these goals one-step at a time!

1. Be The Tortoise

“Slow and steady wins the race.” Each new day as a fresh start - a day to make one SMALL change that will eventually get you to your end goal.

For example, if your goal is to “Exercise More” do not roll out of bed and assume you are going to exercise. Instead, put together a workout schedule that is realistic for your level of fitness (Remember, you do not have to go from 0 to 100mph right off the bat!)

If you have not been exercising regularly, consider scheduling just one or two sessions a week.  Or, if you have been exercising, but not consistently, try to make it to a workout class like Burn 60 3-4 times a week - the key is to make every small change consistently doable and not overwhelming.

2. Write + Reflect

If you have goals and you want to reach them, WIRTE THEM DOWN! Whether it’s in a journal, on a notepad, on our computer or simply as a list on a sticky note, writing down what you plan to do and how you plan to get there is essential to your eventual success.

Make time at the end of each day to write down every step you took towards your goal, then pause to REFLECT on every inch of progress you have made. Note what seems to be working and what doesn’t and adjust your plan if necessary. Then, look forward to inching even closer to the finish line the next day!

3. Enlist A Friend

Let’s face it: Self-motivating is tough, especially if you are trying to make changes. Rather than doing it all on your own, find someone that supports you, loves you, and believes in you and let them be your cheerleader! Chances are there is someone close to you that is attempting to make some adjustments in their lifestyle as well and life is so much sweeter when the pain and gain, struggle and success is shared!

ClassPass is also a great resource for meeting active people with healthy goals. When your personal cheerleader is MIA (or when you’re both lacking motivation), you can use it to bounce around and try the hottest workouts in your area without the burden of making a financial commitment to a new gym, studio or fitness fad.