Feature Reprinted from the Palisadian-Post | By: Susan Howard, Special to the Palisadian-Post, Published on Jan 8, 2015
Here we are again at the beginning of the new year, making our health and fitness resolutions for 2015. But how do we stick to our good intentions beyond the six weeks of the year? Follow these seven tips to maintain your renewed fitness focus well past the New Year hype.


Susan Howard demonstrating balance and focus for 2015.

RESOLUTION TIP #1 | Identify the “Why”
We all have specific goals but before you make the list, take a moment to figure out why you want that change in your life. What will be the outcome? What do you want more of or less of in your life? Do you want to start a fitness routine so you can sleep better, have more energy, feel more confident or live a longer, healthier life for your family? Ask yourself what the change will mean to you and you will have a stronger reason to follow through with your actions.
RESOLUTION TIP #2 | Base Your Goals on Healthy Principles
It’s common to judge ourselves and create goals based on feelings of inadequacy or negative dialogue from spouses or friends. Even though it’s hard to let go of external criticism or self-criticism, be aware of it and base your intentions using positive principles rather than judgment from yourself or others. Focus on what you want and why you want it. Find fitness activities that are fun, meaningful to you and boost your “feel-good” mindset. Confidence in your choices will reinforce the motivation to continue with your program.
RESOLUTION TIP #3 | Focus on the “Do” Instead of the “Don’t”
Make sure you are postured in positivity by expressing your goals with action to get the results you. For example, the goals: “I want to eat less sweets” or “I want to spend less time watching TV.” These goals focus on what you are not going to do. Rephrase you goal to be more active: “I will be more aware when I want to eat sweets and choose fruit or healthier options.” “I will choose outside activities like walking or riding my bike instead of watching TV.”
RESOLUTION TIP #4 | Start Small and Give Yourself Credit
Specific, manageable, measurable modifications in behavior/actions are more successful than overwhelming yourself with a big goal that will take months or many steps to achieve. If you are looking to have more focus for your fitness goals, choose time limits or visits to the studio or classes as a way of measuring. For example, set a goal to work out for 30 minutes a day or to do a workout class three times a week. When you achieve it, acknowledge your success. The more you appreciate the small accomplishments, the more likely you can repeat them.
RESOLUTION TIP #5 | Choose Easily Maintained Goals
Small changes that are sustainable within your normal routine are actually more effective than major changes that can only be followed for a week or a month. For example, if you want to eat less gluten products in your diet, start off by replacing your crackers or pasta with a gluten-free alternative.  If you want to stop having ice-cream at night, create a plan that is most workable for you, like changing to yogurt, cutting back to a few times a week or start making your own fresh sorbet with your blender.
RESOLUTION TIP #6 | Voice Your Aspirations and Build Your Vision
Write down your aspirations, read them aloud and share them with others. Doing this will create a sense of accountability to yourself and will build a support group to help you stay on track. Take it a step further and build a vision board that you can see on a daily basis to help remind you of your goals and your intentions. Create the board with friends or family to make it a memorable event.
RESOLUTION TIP #7 | Remember to Enjoy the Journey and Make Every Day Count
Sometimes we just need a break. So enjoy the day regardless if you go slightly off course. Missing a day of training or eating a cookie can be a positive when it comes to the big picture. A brief mental and physical break could be just what you need to recharge, refresh and refocus. Take a breath and get back on track.
Note: Remember to always consult your physician before starting any program.
Susan Howard is a Partner and Director of Lifestyle Performance Training at Studio K in Pacific Palisades. Her philosophy of lifestyle performance training is to incorporate all of the functional movements in a creative, efficient program to help individuals train for life. Contact Studio K for more information regarding training and nutrition programs: (310) 454-1048 | susan@studioktraining.com