START FRESH. FINISH STRONG. 6 easy steps to creating an attainable plan for your goals.


I am often amazed at the influx of participants that flood the gym every January and into early February each year; it usually dies down by March at the latest. And I can’t help but wonder each year, what happened? What happened to that motivation, determination and personal vow stating that this year would be the year, the time for their true “fresh start”?

I think the answer is simpler than we realize. And it’s time to recognize that it’s not just about a fresh start. It’s also about setting yourself up for a successful continuation and the eventual completion of the goals you are now setting. Can you guess the percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution? A mere 8%.

My intention is not to deflate your commendable efforts to commit to a resolution, but to catch you while there is still time to reassess your approach and create a plan that will enable you to not just start fresh, but to finish strong!

So, I am going to be blunt. Stop looking for shortcuts. This time of year you will be inundated with resolution tips, fad diets and motivational quotes galore. (Which, to be honest, I have been a victim of myself in the past!) The best way to a healthier mind, body and lifestyle is by dedicating time and effort towards your fitness goals and nutritional needs. It’s not the quick and easy fix, but it is the sustainable way that has been the only guaranteed approach to change that truly works in the long run.

I do believe a plan, goal setting and bit of inspiration are crucial pieces of beginning your fresh start as you look forward to a year of new accomplishments. What I hate to see happen is that motivation wear off by the end of this month. So, this year I challenge you to add those 2 words to our favorite line. Start Fresh +Finish Strong! Anyone can start, let’s make this year the year you also finish strong.

6 easy steps to creating an attainable plan for your goals:

  1. Stop looking for shortcuts.
  2. Start small and build. Pick no more than 2 goals to begin with for now. (For you over achievers, you can add the next 2 when the first two are accomplished, trust me on this!)
  3. Your goals should be SMART. I like to recommend this approach to my clients when setting goals in personal training sessions.  – Specific  M – Measurable A – Achievable  R – Realistic T – Time Bound
  4. Write it Down. People who write down their goals, make them happen!
  5. Post them somewhere you can see them daily. Places like your bathroom mirror, nightstand or even the refrigerator– by seeing your goal in a tangible way each day you will increase its likelihood of being achieved by 42%
  6. Enjoy it. Remember, you chose this resolution with your best self in mind. Have fun doing it, use it as the time you make yourself or share it with a friend or family member, whatever you choose embrace it and make pursuing this goal an outlet that you enjoy.

And remember – Start Fresh. FINISH STRONG!

Source: University of Scranton – Journal of Clinical Psychology 1.1.2014