Resolution Revolution//

Try These Experts’ Tips to Help You Transform Your Fitness Routine — and Stick to It

Celebrity fitness experts explain how to exercise more in 2020 — using Microsteps and sustainable behavior change.

Getty Images
Getty Images

As we approach the New Year, making resolutions is top of mind.  Setting goals for exercise and movement is one of the most popular resolutions made in the U.S. According to a YouGov Onmibus survey, 59% of respondents had “exercise more” as their New Year’s goal.  But while we all start out with the best of intentions, actually keeping those resolutions can present an insurmountable challenge, with most people giving up by mid-February. Only one in five Americans stuck to their 2018 resolutions — with only 6% of people reporting that they stuck to their resolution completely.  

Thrive talked to the top fitness trainers across the country for their secrets to making sustainable, manageable changes to your life, and getting in more movement with smart, achievable Microsteps instead of grandiose resolutions. Here, they give you motivating tools and tricks to pave the way to a successful New Year. 

“The reality is that it takes effort on a myriad of fronts to make the work associated with your goal far more manageable and achievable. The first step is to identify your motivation. As in, why is it you want to achieve this goal, and why are you choosing this resolution? How will your life improve if you stick with it? If you have this why, it allows you to tolerate the how — which is the work associated with achieving the goal. Plus, work that has a purpose becomes a passion. Work without purpose can just feel punishing — which is why so many people quit. 

That said, having a plan that allows you to get real results that is also in line with who you are and what resources you have available to you is key. For example, if you pick a crazy strict diet, the chances of you sticking to it are slim. If you join a bootcamp gym, but you dread the hard workouts, you won’t want to go. So be sure you stick with the simple science of not overeating, choosing foods in their most whole and organic form when possible, and moving your body as often as possible. From there, pick the food you love, and the types of workouts you enjoy in order to help ensure your success. Even if the path takes a little longer, there’s nothing wrong with that. The key is progress: Every step in the right direction is exactly that — a step in the right direction.”

Jillian Michaels, A.F.A.A., fitness expert, life coach, and founder of Jillian Michaels App

“Much of my work as a fitness instructor is finding ways to incorporate simple elements into people’s already existing lifestyle.  We have to set attainable goals, and build a lifestyle that is sustainable, or we set ourselves up to fail. We also need to approach resolutions knowing they are imperfect, and when we fail or have a slight setback, it’s part of the process. Those two outlooks are as crucial to success in reaching wellness as any exercise routine or meal plan. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track:

Find your tribe: Community is super important, because if you can get support from friends and share your personal commitments to like-minded people, it helps to stay motivated, on track, and accountable. 

Technology is your friend! From digital fitness possibilities to sleep apps to full-body devices, people are biohacking their way to better health in a natural, non-invasive way. This year, I began exploring PEMF technology, and it has been a game changer. PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field, and it’s on the cutting edge of wellness management. I started using a device called BEMER, which uses PEMF technology to naturally improve blood circulation, which in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients throughout the entire body. Lately, I have a different kind of energy, and I’m almost 50! I feel better now in my life physically and mentally than I ever have.”

Brooke Burke, actress, author, and fitness instructor

“Motivate your mindset. Recognize what motivates you and how you love to move. Understanding what motivates you can create lasting behavioral shifts so you can commit to your routine and enjoy the process.

Start Simple. Create fitness goals that are simple, measurable, realistic and have a time-frame. Simple and specific goals support focus and accountability. Sustaining your focus on simple goals will allow you to adjust your priorities week by week. Take 5 minutes to reflect and journal: define your 2020 fitness goal, how realistic your fitness goal is and how much time you can dedicate to your fitness goal alongside your other daily commitments. Define 1-2 simple goals each week that support your overall fitness goal. Whether you are aiming to feel lighter, or complete 10 pull-ups, simple weekly goals help you celebrate success along the way.

Hydrate. Ideally consume half of your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 lbs you should be drinking 75 oz of water per day, at a minimum. 

Fuel For Fitness. To maximize nutrition and ensure you’re getting a wide array of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, aim to eat the whole rainbow of colors throughout the day. This way, you’ll have what you need to recover from your workouts.

Power in the Pause. After your workout take time to pause, stretch and breathe into all of your hard work. Your post-workout routine soothes your neuromuscular system, reduces stiffness, and goes a long way to help you prepare for your next workout. ”

Amy Opielowski, Master Trainer at CorePower Yoga

“Go on a Fitness Safari. Fitness is fun if you do what you love. For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when setting a fitness goal in the new year is to sign up for a gym membership for the first (or 15th time), or to join a boot camp they aren’t all that interested attending just to “shed the extra pounds.” It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but if you aren’t excited about your workout routine, it likely won’t stick very long. Before the new year hits, I recommend going on a “Fitness Safari” to help uncover what you enjoy. 

Try out the top three to five workout classes or gyms that have peaked your interest. While attending, observe which workout atmosphere feels most comfortable to you, which workout might be best suited to help you achieve whatever goals you are working toward, and which workout feels like it will motivate you the most to show up! Most boutique fitness studios have introductory classes as well. For example, Pure Barre offers a Foundations class that introduces you to the basic movements of Pure Barre’s technique at a slower pace. Once you find a workout that motivates you, sign up for the New Year. The good news is that lots of gyms and boutique fitness classes run promotions around this time of year, so take advantage of the discounted pricing to help you start your journey. If you really enjoy the workout and atmosphere, sticking with it will slowly become a part of your lifestyle and won’t feel like a chore. Just give yourself a few weeks and commit to forging the habit with the start of the New Year.

Set a Mantra. After many years of setting a New Year’s resolution and losing sight of it a few weeks into the New Year, I decided to try something new. These past few years I have instead set a mantra for myself for the year, a statement or slogan that can be repeated frequently. I reflect on the highlights of the previous year and then decide what my goals are for the year to come. The Mantra can be something broad like “Live Your Passion” that might encompass several of your goals for the year, or something more specific.

This past year for example, my mantra was a 3-words – Fitness, Friends, Finances. These were 3 areas of my life where I had specific improvement goals that I wanted to make sure I prioritized throughout the year. I map out a few actionable ways that I want to live that mantra out in the year, and then I repeat the mantra to myself often as a reminder to prioritize these 3 areas and the goals within those areas. If I say the mantra at any point and feel like I might not be putting enough stock into one of the 3 focus areas, I realign my attention to that area and come up with new goals or ways to prioritize it.

At the end of the year, it’s never an all or nothing — achieved or didn’t achieve my New Year’s resolution. The mantra is something I can reflect on — where did I really nail it and where can I keep working on it. Overall I have found that broadening my New Year’s Resolution from a singular goal into a mantra has helped me stay motivated and reminded to keep working on it through the year.”

Katelyn DiGiorgio,  VP of Training & Technique at Pure Barre

“Whether you are a person who makes completely fresh resolutions as 2020 approaches or not, looking back on your year with the intention of positively reframing or restructuring for the future is a great start. Think specifically about what aspects are already moving in the right direction and look for some simple ways to create continued forward momentum. A positive mindset is key to making resolutions stickier and suggests getting started with these simple tips! 

Build on a solid foundation. Goals should be tiny, measurable, and attainable and are often “stickiest” when they build from an already positive place. For example, if you’re someone who does a great job of going to the gym at lunch, perhaps start also paying attention to how many times you get up from your desk in the afternoon. Tracking steps or time standing at your desk may seem very 2005, but you might be surprised by how much traction you gain on fitness or weight loss goals with more consistent daily movements.

Book your week. Take your goals seven days at a time and treat you time toward your resolutions like meetings and appointments. Booking classes on the MINDBODY App is awesome because they add directly into your Outlook calendar. Many of my clients automatically schedule around them now without even thinking about it.

Be kind to yourself. If you’re starting small with your resolutions, they shouldn’t leave you overly sore, uncomfortable, or in pain in any way.  A small goal is just 5-10 mins of increased activity. If you have been fairly sedentary, walking the stairs for 10 mins at lunch is a reasonable, actionable first step.”

—Kate Ligler, Wellness Specialist at MINDBODY 

“As a personal trainer working for decades in Hollywood, I’ve seen resolutions made and broken more times than Samuel L. Jackson swears in Quentin Tarantino movies! However, the one common trait that defines success is urgency. Many times, actors will show up at my gym, the ETT Mecca, with a script in one hand and a plane ticket in the other. ‘I’ve got 21 days to get in shape, and then I’m flying to set in Toronto,’ they nervously tell me. I will spring into action, aligning three things that dictate the science of change: proper daily exercise, a balanced diet, and sleep. But it’s that constant sense of a ticking time clock that fuels the big workouts, the disciplined eating pattern, and the full night of quality sleep. So give yourself a deadline and watch your efforts become supercharged!”

Eric the Trainer, certified personal trainer and co-host of Amazon’s Celebrity Sweat.

“Why do people give up on their resolutions?!? Sometimes the enormity of what we want to do can be disheartening, especially when the results are not noticed right away. But we can take steps to ensure that you will not only succeed at your desires for this year, but form habits to last a lifetime!

First, have very specific and detailed goals with a potential deadline. One of the best ways to achieve your resolutions and long-term goals is to focus on smaller, actionable changes you can accomplish each day that lays the foundation for broader success. Instead of saying, ‘I want to lose weight,’ say ‘I want to lose 20 pounds by March 1!’ Giving yourself a timeline allows you to write a realistic course of action to complete it. Second, make any environmental changes that have been proven to derail or deter you from success. For example, if you always walk past a particular bakery on your way home and go inside to get a treat, take a different path to avoid the temptation. One of the best ways to stick to your fitness resolutions is to do it with a friend. When you partner with someone who has similar goals, you can work out together and hold each other accountable. Lastly, consider the ‘why’ of what you want to achieve. How will ‘losing 20 pounds by March’ specifically improve your life? Consider the benefits that being more fit, healthier, and more capable will do for yourself. Let this ‘why’ be your motivation, and find a way to make it front and center of your consciousness as much as possible.”

Gerren Liles, founding trainer at MIRROR, master instructor at Equinox, and founder of Viz Fit Apparel

“My secret for getting a resolution — or any goal — to stick: As soon as that goal pops into your mind, go for it ASAP. Don’t wait for January 1 or Monday; your time is now. Studies show that you have about five seconds between making a decision and actually being able to act on it before you get distracted, talk yourself out of it, or choose to do something else.

Make statements that are in the present tense and specific: ‘I meditate for 10 minutes a day,’ and not ‘I am going to start meditating.’ When you speak in the present tense, you teach your brain that something is already happening. And then schedule that exact thing, or time needed for it, into your calendar as an appointment with yourself. By calendaring your goals you also can see how attainable the goal is, and how it can fit into your existing schedule.”

Danielle Stead Blanton, fitness business coach, certified fitness instructor, and instructor at Carrie’s Pilates

“The first step in keeping resolutions is reframing how you look at them. I prefer to call them ‘goals for the year.’ Goals will help you identify the why, not just the how. Why do you want to lose weight?  Why is eating more vegetables something you’d like to do? Why will getting more sleep benefit you? Once you better understand the why as well as the feeling you are seeking, you are better able to prioritize these goals in your life. If you really want to understand a person — look at their calendar and their bank account. If time is a reason you feel that you have not achieved your fitness goals in the past, take stock of how you spend your week. Are you watching TV for more than an hour a week? Are you staying out late at bars with friends? Are you spending more than an hour on social media a week?  

If the answer to any of these is yes, make yourself say: Watching TV is more important to me than my fitness goals. Spending time at the bar is more important to me than my fitness goals. Scrolling Instagram is more important than my fitness goals. It seems ridiculous to say these statements, but that’s how you are treating your life and your precious time. Every Sunday, spend an hour organizing your week. Build into your calendar workout sessions, sleep time, connection time, mindfulness time, meal-prep time, reminders to drink water or whichever of these is an important step in achieving your goals.  After a month, this will start to become a habit, you’ll see the results of your effort and not want to give up!”

Liz Van Voorhis, N.A.S.M. C.P.T., master instructor and founder of The Fit Collective

“When it comes to working out, most people will have the best chance of staying with it consistently and permanently if they join a group fitness workout with a strong, supportive community. Having that social component is key. With this, there is accountability, the chance to socialize, and to get support and inspiration from workout friends. At our gym, Nyack Boot Camp, clients who didn’t know one another before become so close that they socialize and support one another outside of the workouts as well. Making exercise about more than getting fit is important; make it fun, make it something you look forward to doing.”

Beth Chamberlin, actress and owner of Nyack Boot Camp and Boot Camp Body Shop

“When it comes to sticking with a workout routine, there are always three motivation factors I relay to my clients or friends to keep them on track to reaching their fitness goals. The first rule is, have someone that holds you accountable. This should be someone you trust, and someone that will not judge you, but who will give you critical but judgement-free feedback. It can be as simple as having a workout buddy or a personal trainer you have to answer to. Making a connection first makes all the difference. Making this first step will opens many new doors to help you seek motivation from others in times of need — or when you just want to go home and lay in bed. My second rule of thumb is to invest. I am talking about monetarily investing in either a membership, bunch of classes, or personal training sessions. Invest enough money into a fitness routine that it will make you say, ‘I do not want those sessions to go to waste.’ My last rule of thumb is to make it fun. I know it sounds simple or silly to say, but it is true! 

Whether your ‘cup of tea’ fitness classes are CrossFit, spinning, H.I.I.T., weightlifting, or yoga, you need to truly enjoy it. When you are passionate or excited about a class/session, it will always make you come back for more. You need to mentally enjoy the process, because most of the time it is a slower process than you think. Once that happens, then your physical goals will be easier to reach and maintain.”

Courtney Roselle, N.A.S.M., C.P.T., founder of Iron Grace 

“Over the years of coaching I found the best solution to guiding my clients to success is teaching my clients how to make specific and detailed goals. When you’re specific about your goals you identify the discrepancy between your current situation and your desired state. You realize where you are slacking and can create a reasonable approach to attaining your goal. Goal setting helps facilitate behavior and provides a strategy for organizing nutrition and physical resolutions into practical and manageable steps. For example, a client states they want to lose 40 lbs. While the goal sounds specific, it needs to be more detailed. Challenge yourself by identifying specific, individual actions that will realistically fit into your everyday life. Instead of training six days a week, ask yourself how many days realistically you can work out during the week. Think about your work, school, and family schedule. Then pick specific days and specific times to exercise. Also prepare yourself for potential barriers that could interfere with your goals so an alternative plan may be implemented. Without this simple step, you may continue to struggle regardless of how strong your intentions are. This step not only maintain flexibility within your life but also builds confidence to stay on course and develop tangible, solution-building skills turning your past defeat into small victories. Sometimes over complicating things can cause more damaged than we realize. “

Amoila Cesar, certified trainer for BEACHBODY, Creator of 6 Weeks of @thework.

“A better strategy than the daunting New Year’s Resolution is to grab a calendar and decide to make one new beneficial tweak to your life each month this coming year. And notice that I used the word ‘tweak,’ not ‘change,’ which is often met with both the best of intentions and the greatest of resistance. 

In January, I ask my clients to focus on workout consistency — keeping the bar at getting your heart rate up just 20 minutes a day, even if that’s just a short walk or a brisk micro-workout at their kitchen counter or desk — my AND/life app has lots of these. After they have workout consistency under their belt, I’ll make February about food schedule and portioning. March might be about sleep and restoration, April about eating one plant-based meal each day, May about building strength, June about drinking fewer calories, and so on. The key to success in fitness resolutions is to make goals that easily fit into the life you actually live. Manageable tweaks stand a far greater chance of becoming lifelong beneficial habits that will not only get you to your physical goals, but build you up mentally in the process.”

Andrea Marcellus, fitness expert, creator of AND/life, and author of The Way In

“Plan. Partner. Prepare. Before you start your exercise program, you need a plan. To get started, answer these three questions: First, when will you exercise? Identify three days and times that are convenient for you, and stick with those days so you are working out at the same time each week. Second, what type of exercise will you do? The best type of exercise is one you enjoy. Third, how much time will you spend exercising? Create a plan. Write it out, and you’re more likely to stick to it. 

If you want to stay on track with your goals, you’ll need some support and accountability. Find someone who resolved to start exercising in the new year. Begin your fitness journey together. It will increase your chances for success, and you’ll have more fun. An exercise partner provides you with a support system, a positive social experience, and inspiration. There will be times when you don’t feel like working out, and a partner can be just the motivation you need to get going. 

Once you have your exercise plan and your exercise partner, you’re ready to do the fun part: making progress! Beware, though: One of the biggest problems with New Year’s resolutions is they can be extremely impractical. Setting goals is a great idea, but make sure they are realistic and feasible. You won’t drop 10 pounds in two weeks, but with time and consistency, you can make more progress than you ever thought possible! Make sure your goals are SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.”

Kate Mckee Horney, founder of Beyond Fit Mom

“As a yoga teacher and mobility specialist, I recognize the importance of positive self-talk, a vibrant state of gratitude, and a movement practice that keeps you pain-free and on track to live life to the fullest. I use CARS — controlled articular rotations — derived from Functional Range Conditioning to assess how my joints are feeling and operating every day. Each morning I do my ankle rotations — CARS — while brushing my teeth. Not only am I habit-stacking two necessary tasks at once, I am also challenging a mindless pattern that has been cultivated over time. We brush our teeth almost without thought about what we are doing. Adding another good habit on top is great for creating new neural pathways in the brain. It will keep you more aware and present in the moment. 

I am constantly reading to keep myself inspired, because motivation will wane. You can count on that. Finding a new skillset is always a wonderful way to challenge your mind and body. I am currently reading Atomic Habits, and it’s been a game changer for the way I move through my days. Harness a passion for learning new things and you’ll always be able to turn back the clock.”

Nicole Sciacca, yoga teacher, certified personal trainer with clients including Jennifer Aniston, Chief Yoga Officer of Playlist Yoga 

“Knowing the science behind an early morning, pre-breakfast workout might just motivate you to become an early bird and get that workout out of the way. Working out first thing in the morning on a nearly empty stomach is ideal because it forces your body to jump-start its metabolism for the day, and will actually help break down stored fats. A moderate 20-25 minutes of cardio is sufficient. 

Studies show that most benefits from a workout occur within the first 25 minutes to stimulate your anabolic and metabolic system — a.k.a. build muscle and burn fat — so why work out more? If you work out on a completely empty stomach — without caffeine and any water — you risk not having enough energy to make it through, which will force your body to burn muscle rather than sending the signal to start burning fat. 

Additionally, cardio in the morning boosts your heart rate not only during your workout, but for the remainder of your day. Thus, your resting heart rate will be faster throughout the day, affecting the way your body processes food, and allowing you to burn about 300 to 400 more calories while at rest, therefore helping to lose weight. If you wait until midday to workout, you will only burn what you’ve eaten during the day, and the first 25 minutes you spend working out will only burn off sugar from meals you consumed beforehand, so it’s better to bite the bullet early. Bonus mental note: When you think about how much time you sit at your desk or in traffic during your commute, a 25-minute workout is only 1.7 percent of your entire 24 hour day — now that doesn’t sound like such a huge amount of time to dedicate to a workout!”

Sebastien Lagree, personal trainer with clients including Rihanna and Sofia Vergara, and founder/CEO 

“Mantras are an incredible and easy way to help us navigate our days. By repeating mantras, often we’re investing in a small commitment with a huge payoff. We’re helping to build a deeper sense of joy, meaning, and purpose within ourselves, which affects our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I find mantras key to my approach to fitness, because it helps me hold myself accountable, boosts my feeling of self-worth and self-esteem, and is one of the things that will actually get me to the gym, or to the hiking trail, or on my yoga mat. Because we all know that showing up is the hardest part. Here are some of my favorite mantras to help keep you on track with your fitness goals and motivated throughout the day:

Morning: Universe, please take me through this day with grace.

Wake up and quietly say this out loud before your feet hit the ground. There’s no finer word then ‘Grace.’

Daytime:  Live in Neutral.

This mantra means that no matter what happens, good or bad, we should bring our attitude back to neutral. A healthy sense of detachment is a key to a beautiful life.

Evening: Destination: Nirvana.

This mantra prepares us for a calm sleep. After lights out and our deepest breath of the day, repeat this mantra three times.”

Kirschen Katz, yoga instructor with clients including Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Williams, and Laura Dern

“To make a resolution stick, be realistic with yourself. Start with an understanding of who you are. You know yourself better than anyone, and you know what you’ll do. The problem a lot of people have with fitness resolutions is they try to go from zero to world class athlete. They set a goal to do six days a week in the gym when they’re starting from nothing. If you don’t have a workout plan, start with something manageable and attainable. Instead of doing six to seven days in the gym, start with two to three days. Build up that consistency, and over time, you’ll see the results. 

Couple that with a reward system, as in: ‘If I follow through with three days a week for a whole month, I’ll reward myself with…’ Reward systems work well for adults because they respond to working toward something and they’ll actually show up for it. Make the reward something meaningful to you, and see the impact of 12 workouts a month versus where you started. 

If you don’t have a chance to get to the gym or get outside, set your watch for 20-minute intervals throughout the day. Get up and do something manageable where you are. Something like 20 pushups or 20 squats with a focus on improving your form. By doing that throughout the day, it’ll grow to something significant in your overall fitness. It’s better to be active throughout the day with small targets than to go to the gym for an hour and then sit around the rest of the day.”

Marc Megna, founder of the Megna Method and co-owner of Anatomy Fitness

“The best way to revolutionize your New Year’s resolution is to get real! Fitness and health resolutions must be attainable and sustainable. Starting with a goal that is realistic is the key to success. For most Americans, the new year hits, and we earnestly scramble for a lofty resolution and, though admirable, that is setting the bar too high. It is a ‘0 to 60’ moment that is not reasonable because we just spent the holiday socializing, eating, and drinking. Many have completely fallen off the fitness wagon. 

Once you decide on a resolution — write it down. Writing is real, and it is an important mental connection. Next, break down your goal into small parts or goals. For instance, tell yourself, ‘I am going to commit to some form of movement or exercise four days per week.’ Some days, it may be as simple as increasing your steps. Each time you succeed, your brain’s reward center will trigger a dopamine reaction setting, putting you on track for your next goal. I recommend sharing your plan with a friend, because it helps to keep you more accountable. Prepare for a setback. We all have them, so be ready to accept that you are human! Not every step is going to be perfect, so focus on the big picture and your progress. Believe in yourself — long-lasting change and benefits are possible. And embrace the journey!  

My favorite Dalai Lama quote sums it up: ‘Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. Then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present or the future; he lives as if he is never to die, and the dies having never really lived.’”

Dempsey Marks, fitness expert and creator of the PEAK PHYSIQUE program 

“Rely on habit, rather than on willpower, which too often fades in the moment. I find it helps to have a routine, so I do my workouts at more or less the same times on the same days every week. I also write every session on my calendar. That way I think of workouts as appointments with myself. I’m flexible when I need to be, but I stick with Plan A unless something compels me to do otherwise. Having an exercise buddy who’s expecting you to show up will also reduce the temptation to skip a session.    

Target small, steady improvements rather than a radical makeover. Start with what you can do, and gradually raise the bar on one exercise or activity at a time. Going for small changes is a sustainable approach that can lead to big results over time. It also translates into short-term goals, which let you celebrate small wins and help you stay on track toward longer term goals. 

Make a conscious effort to change how you think about exercise. Part of the problem is the very word ‘exercise.’ It often makes people groan inwardly as they anticipate forcing themselves to do something grueling and unpleasant. My breakthrough came when I stopped thinking ‘exercise,’ and started thinking ‘movement.’ We need to remember that our bodies are made to move, and movement is fun! Just watch kids on a playground, or a group of seniors at a Zumba class. Here’s another mental shift that works for me: Instead of thinking, ‘I have to go to the gym today,’ I tell myself, ‘I get to go the gym today.’ Change just one word, and you have a completely different mindset.    

Build fitness into your self-image. Think of yourself as strong and resolute — the kind of person who makes smart lifestyle choices, has clear goals, and follows through. Believe it, and you will become it! The more you think of fitness as part of who you are, the more likely you will be to stick with it and succeed over the long haul.”

Jim Owen, author of Just Move! A New Approach to Fitness After 50 and producer of the upcoming documentary The Art of Aging Well 

“Connecting to a deeper purpose captures the power and determination of our emotional body to see our goals through to fruition. For instance, if you want to lose weight to get healthy or build confidence, be specific about why, and what it will look like in your life. Will it affect your interactions, how you feel in your body, your confidence, how you move, how you see yourself, your health, or your ability to live long and appreciate life? Try to attach a feeling or picture to it in your mind — something simple that you can come back to quickly and often. Then, before you get out of bed each morning — or anytime you remember — take a minute to visualize what your day ahead would look like with that quality. For extra stamina, you can also post a reminder of that quality or picture somewhere you won’t miss it.  For instance, if you really want to lose weight so you feel better and live longer, then post a picture of someone you love that you want to enjoy life with, as a symbol of the happiness it represents. Or if you want to get healthy to build the confidence to build a life you love, post a pic of something you might do or somewhere you might go in that life you want to build as the wallpaper on your phone.

Less is more: Start with just 10 minutes a day of movement you enjoy. The habits we stick with have the biggest impact on our long-term health, so start simple to create a lasting habit you can commit to. Also, if you find something you enjoy, you’ll be much more likely to stick to it then forcing yourself to do something you hate.”

Tiffany Cruikshank, L.Ac. MAOM, founder of Yoga Medicine®

“Most people have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to keeping resolutions. All that ambitious goal-setting with hopes of an all new you feels good at the start, but ultimately isn’t consistently achievable.

The key to setting goals that stick is to make realistic, specific, time-oriented goals that you keep yourself accountable to. For example, if you currently workout one time a week, and your goal is five times a week, split the difference and start with the goal of three times a week for the first two weeks. Once you hit that, then start to amp it up. Starting with bite-size goals that you can hit is the way to go.  Another great hack to keep accountable for your movement is to book your workout schedule a week in advance, and treat those times like priority meetings with a CEO. Set a calendar alert, don’t flake, and come prepared! Even if you’re not in the mood, one percent of something is 100% better than nothing. Extra credit: Invite a friend to work out with you so that you can’t bail last minute.

Finding small ways to incorporate movement into your day is always a win: take the stairs, walk the longer route, set your alarm to get up and move so that you don’t get into a sitting slump. Instead of meeting friends for dinner and drinks, meet at a new workout class. Instead of sleeping in that extra 30 minutes, get up and start your day with a mini workout and stretch. There is no rule that says a workout has to be 60 minutes! Consistent movement is the best movement, so keep moving!”

Katia Pryce, certified trainer and creator of DanceBody 

“Shorten your workouts and increase the amount of time you spend active throughout the day. Try standing at your desk, walking to a further train, or taking the stairs versus the elevator. Aim for 10,000 steps per day!

Set up a workout calendar so that every day you complete a workout, you get a gold star or a sticker to put on your calendar to help track and visually see the progress that you are making. When you reach 10 stars, set up a prize for yourself: a manicure, pedicure, smoothie, or massage, so that you can celebrate the work you’ve accomplished. Do this for every 10 stars you get. Get your friends, family, and co-workers involved in this challenge, and hold each other accountable.

It takes at least 40 days to create a new habit, so just be consistent and show up. Remember that you do not have to make it through the entire hourlong class in the beginning. Start with staying in class for 30 minutes, three times a week, and increase the time and frequency as you get more comfortable with the workout.”

 —Anna Kaiser, celebrity trainer and founder of AKT

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Well-Being//

The #1 Secret to New Year’s Resolution Success

by Caroline Jordan

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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