A Personal Trainer’s 4 Step Approach to Achieving New Year’s Resolutions

Scott Keppel | Stay Updated with NASM!

Here we go, again. “It’s a new year and this is my year! I know I said that last year, and years in the past, but this time I mean it. No more yo-yo dieting, no more putting everyone else’s needs before mine, no more of this dead end job, no more, no more, no more.” I want to believe you. Chances are I don’t even know you and I still want to believe you. I don’t want you to be one of the 92% of people that don’t achieve their New Year’s Resolution (according to Forbes Magazine). I don’t like that, according to U.S. News, 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. As an individual who strives to be successful and help others to be as well, these numbers are concerning for me. The great thing is that these numbers are not 100% defeating, and they aren’t destined to be your numbers. There’s a chance that you can and you will succeed. The following four strategies are ways to help you not only achieve your New Year’s Resolution goal, but that you can use with other goals in your life.

4 Strategies for Goal Attainment

  1. Write your resolution down and share it: Share it with at least three people that support you. Just saying your resolution and/or thinking about it is not good enough. Statistics show you are 80% more likely to achieve a goal if it’s written down. (1) In addition, when we share our goals with others we are 65% more likely to achieve them. (2) Sharing them allows a level of accountability. When we have people we trust and that believe in us we don’t want to let them down, and if they are true supports they won’t let us quit because they don’t want us to let ourselves down.
  2. Make sure your resolution is SMART: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and it has a time frame. This can get tricky because you may not know what’s realistic. This is why it’s good to share with people that care about you and will provide honest feedback. They can help you determine what’s realistic and perhaps what’s not. I suggest starting your New Year’s by creating a smaller goal you can achieve in 4-6 weeks, and once you achieve that, create another. Think of it as “New Quarter Resolutions” rather than just one for the year. You must be able to measure it and have a specific timeline. If it’s weight loss, setting a goal of losing 20 to 30 pounds this year is a good start but is not enough to define the goal. I suggest you state “I will lose 20 lbs by (date)…” Keep in mind a healthy weight loss goal is 1-2 pounds a week. This way, if after 2 weeks you have not lost any weight a readjustment to the method(s) you are using to lose the weight would be needed to keep the goal on track.
  3. Plan and stick to it: I am a fan of writing down my goals, plus my plan of action and my schedule. I feel I’m more apt to stick to a program if I put pen to paper. Whether you use a planner, your phone, a computer or a bulletin board, having it somewhere you can reference it is important. Try looking at your calendar each Sunday and plan out your week. Circling back to the weight loss goal, in order to lose weight you need to exercise and have your nutrition dialed in. You should then block out times you’ll exercise that week and when you’ll food prep. A weekly approach allows you to make adjustments in case one week is more full than another. If your goal is to spend more time with your family, block off time that you’ll be with your family, shut off your phone, stay away from the computer and be present.
  4. Know your why: So you have your resolution, you wrote it down, you shared it and it’s attainable, but WHY is this your resolution? Too often we choose a resolution because it’s the thing to do. If your why isn’t important enough, you will fail! You may want to lose weight, but why? You may want to start a new career, why? Before you declare your new year’s resolution I suggest you ask yourself “why” at least three times. An example may be, I want to lose weight. Why? I want to look good in my clothes? Why? I don’t feel confident enough in my own skin. Ok, now we can see that your why is not just about looking good, it’s about being a person that is confident. Know your why and you will succeed!


In closing, New Year’s resolutions can be a great thing and you can achieve them! Just know your “why,” share your resolution with others you trust, and make sure your resolution is SMART. Finally, have a plan of execution and stay focused! Watch out 2018, we’re going to rock our resolutions!

  1. Reid, Norma. From Dreams to Reality Success Coaching
  2. American Society of Training and Development (ASTD)

The Author

Scott Keppel


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