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New Year, New You!


New Years is when many of us turn our attention to losing weight and getting fit. After a season of festivities that probably started around Thanksgiving, it’s not unlikely that you feel it’s time to get back on the old exercise bandwagon.  As a personal trainer, I am always pleased when people tell me all about their New Year’s resolutions, but somewhat disheartened by March that so man have failed to reach fruition!

The thing is, after a winter of over indulgence, many people really want to make some big lifestyle changes and are truly enthusiastic about embracing a healthier lifestyle but by being overly zealous and trying to bite off more than they can chew, the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions are all but dead by March.

Most people’s resolutions include a combination of the following…

•   Lose weight

•   Exercise more often

•   Eat more healthily

•   Drink less alcohol

•   Give up smoking

•   Lower stress levels

•   Work with a personal trainer

•   Have more quality time with family and loved ones

•   Walk more and drive less

•   Drink more water

Doing all these things will certainly enhance your life but it’s a huge task to try and adopt all these new habits literally overnight! While our enthusiastic resolution-setter may be able to stay on the straight and narrow for a week or two, all it will take is a minor bump in the road and all their best intentions will come crashing down and they’ll be back to their old habits before you can say “Healthy lifestyle?  I’ll try again next year!”

Being a personal trainer is a lot more than standing over people as they exercise.  To me, it’s about empowering people so they can continue their fitness journey alone and that’s what this article is all about.  That’s why I want to share with you this very powerful piece of advice regarding setting New Year’s resolutions: by all means make a list BUT don’t try and tackle more than one thing at a time.

By tackling one change at a time you hugely increase your chances of success.  Most of us are terrible multi-taskers, but give us one job to do at a time and we can concentrate 100% and do a great job.  New Year’s resolutions are no different.

List your resolutions in order from most important to least and put all your energies into the item at the top of your list.  Attack it with vigor and enthusiasm.  Once ou feel you have that challenge well and truly licked, move onto the next item on your list.  Carry on in this manner until your list is complete and you really will be a new you!

Remember, it’s probably taken years for you to gain that extra weight, develop a smoking habit or become sedentary, so it’s unrealistic to try and fix all those things overnight.  As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day, so it really makes no sense to try and fix your unhealthy habits all at once and in a matter of a few short weeks.

I bet my reputation as a personal trainer that you are much more likely to be able to stick with your New Year’s resolutions if you attack them one at a time.  Statistically, over 95% of New Year’s resolutions fail within 3 weeks!  That’s a shockingly low success rate.  Madness, they say, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, so don’t get mad – get fit and healthy!

Make this year the year you stick to your resolutions by tackling them one at a time!

By Mark Darco

Mark Darco is a nationally certified personal trainer and boxing instructor with clients in NYC and Brooklyn, NY.