How to Press-On with Your New Year’s Resolutions

How to Press-On with Your New Year’s Resolutions

Help! My Resolve is Slipping!

It happens to the best of us! We get tired of the way things are and decide we’re going to make some big changes that we tackle all at once. We go strong for weeks, maybe even months, but suddenly we’re struggling to keep up. When this starts to happen, we need to step back and look at a few things. Why are we struggling, and what can we do about it?

Allow us to walk you through it. Plug in your own answers and see where the process takes you. Let’s begin:

Why am I Struggling?

  1. I’m always physically tired. 
  2. I’ve started coming up with excuses. 
  3. I’m starting to doubt that I can do it. 
  4. The goal looks too big now. 
  5. I don’t have any more time in my day for other things. 
  6. Meal prepping is frustrating. 
  7. The cravings have gotten really bad. 
  8. I’m just going through the motions in my workouts, I may as well not be doing them. 
  9. A fraction of my goal feels like enough. I already feel better than before. 
  10. Too much change is overwhelming. 
    1. Do any of these sound like your reason? Perhaps you’ve identified with more than one. The important thing is that you identify what started to slow your forward momentum. Once you know the reason for your struggle, you can actually start to do something about it. If your reason isn’t up there, you can still move to the next step. Just bear in mind the specific reason why maintaining your resolution has become more difficult. 

    Break it Down

    The next step is to take your reason and break it down even further. You want to start detailing all of its bits and pieces. This helps you take a broad concept and make it more specific; and we know it’s easier to work with more specific thoughts. Let’s do a couple examples together. Say your reason is #3, that you’re experiencing doubt and you’re no longer sure you can accomplish your goal. You would break it down like this: 

    I’m starting to doubt that I can do it because: 

    1. My progress is slow or stalled 
    2. I wanted to accomplish this in 2 months and now I’m running out of time 
    3. I can’t maintain the number of days a week I planned to commit 

    Another example could be #6: Meal prepping is frustrating. Your breakdown might include items like: 

    1. It takes too long 
    2. I miss the simplicity of eating out 
    3. I hate doing dishes 

    Once you have your items listed out, you can probably see some areas that you can work on. Let’s move on to step 3. 

    Take Informed Action

    Now that you’re more informed about why you’re feeling like your resolution may not stick, you can take action. Action looks like this: make a logical statement about each of the items on your breakdown list. This is a technique employed in certain cognitive behavioral therapies. The idea is that you are recognizing a distorted thought process and giving yourself very reasonable explanations for why that thought doesn’t actually make sense. It helps break through the walls that you mentally set up for yourself. Let’s do an example together: 

    1. My progress is slow or stalled 

    If you let your thoughts go from “my progress is slowing down” to “what if I never achieve my fitness goals?” or “what if this is all I’m capable of?” you’re slipping into a cognitive distortion called Catastrophizing. This is what happens when a person takes a single unpleasant event and imagines it will undeniably lead to the worst-case scenario.

    This is what you do to reason your way through this kind of thought: 

    First, remember that our bodies are living and breathing, and it doesn’t matter if we actively help the process, they adapt to change. So, you started working out? Great! Your body struggled at first but now it’s really good at getting you through your 20 minutes on the treadmill. Your body thinks “that’s enough muscle building and cardiac improvement. I can do what’s being asked of me now.” So, your progress starts to slow.  

    As long as you keep your routine, your cardiac health and running muscles will stick around, but if you push yourself to sprint or to hang out on the treadmill for 30 minutes instead of 20, your body will need to adapt again to meet those demands. It’s natural; a slowdown in your progress doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong; it most likely means that your body has adapted to the change.  

    Now that you’ve thought logically about it, a slowdown in your resolution should no longer look like a critical failure. You can repeat that logic to yourself every time doubt starts to creep back in. 

    Rinse and Repeat

    Go through this process for each and every one of the thoughts that holds you back from your goals. Even if it’s something that has a seemingly simple answer. For example, you might hate doing the dishes involved in meal prep. How can you reason your way through that one? Well, take a moment to look at the bigger picture. Is it worth giving up on your goal because of dishes? Is the trade-off worth it?  

    Alternatively, you can think of ways to make the chore of doing dishes more manageable. For example, you can make a habit of rinsing dishes as soon as they’ve been dirtied so you don’t have to spend more time scrubbing dried-on food. Mentally compare the difficulty of that task with your overall goal, and it probably looks quite doable.  

    The general thought is this: when we have trouble with our goals it often feels like we’re hitting obstacles we’ll never overcome. The trick is to recognize the flaws in our thought process and then reason our way out of it. 

    To stay informed with our fitness and nutrition articles, subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly highlights from the LA Fitness blog! 

    Note: The author has a master’s degree in Social Work and is versed in various cognitive and behavioral therapies. Advice presented is based on an understanding of human behavior but should not replace the guidance of a licensed practitioner or that of one operating under licensed supervision. 

    Member Spotlight | It’s Never Too Late

    Member Spotlight | It’s Never Too Late

    On November 8th, 2014, Max L. of Maplewood, MN made a decision that would alter the state of his life forever.

    Having struggled the previous three years with a series of health-related challenges, including emergency surgery for a kidney stone too large to pass, Max knew something had to be done, and soon. At the encouragement of his wife, Max decided to join LA Fitness with the hope of becoming physically active again. This was the first step back to reclaiming his quickly deteriorating health.

    While Max had been very active in sports as a boy and young man, time seemed to have taken its toll. A worsening knee problem had deprived him of even the most basic of physical activities – walking. In June of 2014, Max was approved for arthroscopic surgery (a minimally invasive surgical procedure to help treat joint problems). At the same time, he found himself suffering from migraine headaches, a weight of over 200 lbs., and a waist that had expanded to 43 inches.

    Max’s original goal was to lose excess belly fat. He hoped that by increasing muscle tone, combined with mild cardio, it would help shed the weight. He also knew from the start that he wanted a trainer to help guide and encourage him along the way to achieving his desired fitness goal. And even though Max had done some weight training in his youth, he had never been properly trained on technique, or, on how to build a properly balanced exercise regime. This is where the training came in; it offered both encouragement and accountability.

    In April 2015, Max was partnered with personal trainer, Alex B. He originally started training once a week before increasing his sessions to double that. With the help of Alex, Max was able to achieve incredible results. In roughly a six-month period, Max went from benching around 140 lbs. to a maximum bench press of 265 lbs.! Not only did he start feeling better, but his waist had begun to shrink too. However, like so many others, Max had a hard time making the commitment to a total life change and found himself not noticing a difference in his overall weight.

    “Get off of sugar. After a few weeks, your palate comes alive; the veggies you didn’t like become very tasty.”

    Max L.

    LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

    January 2016

    August 2016

    Over the years, Max tried countless diets that failed to produce any long-lasting results. But in January 2016, Max found himself so disgusted with the way his clothes fit, that he made the commitment to radically change his nutrition. It was with that determination and focus that he noticed the weight and fat start falling off. Between January and August of 2016 Max lost roughly 30 lbs., his waist went from 41” to 36” and his total body fat fell from 29% to 20%! He also began developing noticeable muscle definition in his arms and shoulders. But what he found best of all was the fact that he could fit back into size 32 pants for the first time since his 20’s!

    Max shared that his transformation has done wonders for his self-image. His dramatic change has also influenced members at his club who feel inspired to make positive changes themselves after seeing what he’s accomplished. Because of Max’s perseverance and drive, he is now off two of his blood pressure medications, his good cholesterol is up, and the bad cholesterol is down!

    Where Is He Now?

    Max continues to train twice weekly with Alex.  His current fitness goal is to get his waist down to 34” and his body fat to 15%. Max thanks his trainer Alex for the progress he’s made and says, “I know I could not have done this transformation on my own.”

    A Word From His Trainer

    “I have trained Max for nearly three years. He’s had to overcome some obstacles along the way. At the start he was battling migraine headaches and vertigo and still hobbling from arthroscopic knee surgery. He could barely do pull-ups and only managed 140lbs on the bench press. But in time he started getting great results. In addition to losing nearly 30lbs his strength has increased, reaching 260lbs in the bench press and 25 pull-ups. I don’t recall ever seeing a 67 year old do that. He’s a great example that age is not a barrier or an excuse. Of all of Max’s successes I think the biggest is that he enjoys coming to the gym, and I believe he’ll stay at it for the rest of his life. As trainers our job isn’t just to take people through workouts but also to create a positive experience for the member in the gym so they will continue to train and develop. Max has been that guy and he is a great inspiration to other members who’ve watched his transformation.” – Alex B.


    If you have any questions on how you can get started in Pro Results® Personal Training please click here.

    Do you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with us? Email us at for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post!

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