goal setting

How NOT to Fail at Your New Year’s Resolution

We’re well into the new year. Did you set a new year resolution? Merriam-Webster defines the new year’s resolution as “a promise to do something differently in the new year.”

More than 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions fail. Why? Perhaps they weren’t SMART.

SMART goals are:

Time bound

Let these guide your new year’s resolution or any goal you are looking to achieve this year.


Goals look good on paper and tend to be based on norms or societal demands. “Lose weight. Tone up. Get healthy” Set more PERSONAL goals! What do YOU want? Don’t conform. Change! The best way to do this is to ask one very important question regarding your goal…

WHY? Dig deep. Once a sincere, personal goal has been established and the motivation behind it is understood. “I get regular headaches. I will drink an additional 12 ounces of water each day. Maybe they are hydration related?” Once your goal is determined, make sure it is specific and there are steps laid out as to HOW you will achieve it. “I bought a new 12 ounce water bottle that I will fill and carry with me each day until I drink it all.”


A measurable goal ensures that it can be truly attained. Are you going to “drink more water” every day? Being measurable means a goal would be something more like, “I will drink at least 90 ounces of water each day, not including my food, coffee, etc.” Measuring your goal makes it easier to track and know if you have achieved it.


Goals should be reasonably possible, not setting yourself up for failure. Goals should be set to add a positive swing to our lives, not a punishment. If you set a goal of “working out every day”, first that’s not very specific, but also, is it even attainable? Do you have a family, kids, a full work schedule, volunteering, and other commitments? Daily workouts just may not be feasible without causing stress that can lead to other health problems. If you currently work out 3x/week, may your goal is looking at adding in that 4th day, but make sure you have steps in place for how that will look and feel. Maybe that 4th “workout” means you are adding in a 30-minute walk every week to de-stress, walk the dog, or walk with your significant other. Make your goal attainable and relevant to your life.


Don’t set a goal just because it’s what you’re supposed to do. Set a goal that will make a positive impact on your quality of life.

Do you have high blood pressure? Set a goal that will aid in helping your blood pressure.

Need to lower your BMI for health reasons? Create a nutrition and/or fitness goal.

Ready to finally carve out “me time”? Book your workout sessions two weeks in advance and don’t break your appointment with yourself. Put it on your calendar as a recurring appointment.


One of the biggest reasons New Year’s Resolutions specifically fail so regularly is because you have SO MUCH time to complete them! It’s great to also set long-term goals, but you need short-term steps you can take NOW, otherwise it is likely you will procrastinate to the point of the goal becoming just another thing you DIDN’T do.

In the case of adding water each day, set an attainable time of completing the goal for 6-weeks. You will likely find that it has become a new good habit that you can continue with and build on! Set your SMART GOAL TODAY if you haven’t yet!

Self-Improvement Must Reads!

This week we share some books that we think everyone should read or at least be aware of. Self-improvement books can inspire us to make better choices and enhance our lives. Whether you are humming along in life, going through a transition, or are just a continual learner, we challenge you to check out some, or all, of these books. Keep learning. We may not always have time to sit down and read a book. A few ways to keep learning, on the run with tools like these:

• Blinkist
• Audible
• iTunes University/iTunes
• Podcasts (like Optimal Health Daily on Spotify or Precision Nutrition’s Eat, Move and Live Better podcast on iTunes)

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Four agreements offer a code of conduct that can bring about a feeling of freedom and happiness: 1) Be impeccable with your word. 2) Don’t take anything personally. 3) Don’t make assumptions. 4) Always do your best.

Think you’ve heard all you need to hear? Think again – Ruiz’s insight is the stuff of legends!

On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O’Leary

After suffering burns on 100% of his body as a child, not to mention amputated fingers and more to boot, John O’ Leary learns that we might not be able to choose what life throws at us, but we can choose how we live our life. Get ready to be inspired!

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

You hear this often at Ellipse Fitness, “what is your WHY?” In order to achieve a goal, the WHY needs to be deeply personal and it needs be a driving force, or else this will probably be just another one of those goals we fall short of without ever really giving it an honest try. It’s not enough to say, “I want to lose weight.” The WHY might be, I want to be healthy so I can keep up with my grandkids or be there to take care of my spouse as we age! Almost as difficult as discovering your WHY in life is staying true to it and keeping it alive.

The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone

Think BIG! In this book Cardone discusses how to invest 10x more and reach 10x further. Success always requires more effort than we anticipate. Be obsessed with your goal. Find direction on how to shift your goals and focus to reach for more by working harder, building your commitment, and finingd inspiration to accomplish it!

The One Thing by Gary Keller

Gary encourages you to prioritize your to-dos by importance, become disciplined in what you want by creating a habit of it, do NOT multitask, visualize the steps to get to your goal, and never compromise your personal life for your professional goals…instead prioritize your work time to perfection!

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter

Negative programming prevents individuals from becoming and doing exactly what they want. Any amount of inspirational reading will only provide us with techniques that could work if put into practice. This book explains the principles of self-talk – a unique way of reversing negativity, optimizing outlook, focusing plans and achieving success. The key is in affirming, telling yourself the right things which then reflect in a more positive lifestyle. Sometimes it really can be that simple!

What are you waiting for??

How are your New Year’s Resolutions Going?

Revisit your goals!

We say it often. Write them down. Cross them out. Highlight them. Whatever you can do to make them more tangible – more real. Because that is the secret…there is no magic, there is no trick (not one that works anyways) to realizing your goals. Write down attainable goals somewhere that you will walk past them several times a day, interact with your list when progress is made – or when you feel stagnant! Write little sub-goals under your major goals that will help point you in the direction of them, for instance:

Goal: Run a marathon
a.) buy proper footwear
b.) run 1/2 mile today
c.) run total of 2 miles this week
d.) run 5 out of 7 days next week

Or get creative with something like this!


The reason we are urging you to revisit your resolutions this week is because this is the time of year when your life gets back to normal. You settle back into a routine after Summer insanity, and that is a great time to implement new habits, to set goals, to re-focus.

There is one thing in particular that we are asking you to focus in on right now, and that is to take care of YOU! So in case you have surpassed all your New Year’s Resolutions – or maybe you have just forgotten them altogether – we’ve got a whole set of resolutions for you to adopt into your routine!

1. Workout
Make your workout a priority! This one is a little bit obvious, but being consistent with your workout routine will increase your overall energy and lead to better food choices as well as better sleep.

2. Sleep
Speaking of sleep – this too should be a priority! Plan for 7-8 hours of shut eye each night, and start winding down one hour before you intend to be asleep in order to avoid sleeplessness. TV before bed is one common mistake a lot of people make, but that intense stimulation actually makes it more difficult for your mind to relax – especially those crime shows! Cut it out!

3. Floss
This is an easy way to start taking care of yourself in a big way! Have trouble remembering to work it into your routine? Try keeping floss in the shower to make it part of your bathing routine.

4. Hydrate
One of the most important things we can do to take care of ourselves is to drink enough water. Being dehydrated affects your cognitive ability, your performance, and even your skin! Feel AND look better just by drinking adequate water. Spread it out throughout the day though! Trying to catch up on all your fluids for the day at once can lead to discomfort or in rare cases hyponatremia.

5. Take a multivitamin
If your diet throughout the day does not consist of a wide variety of foods in all colors of the rainbow, most likely you could benefit from a good multivitamin supplement. Place them somewhere you will see them every day and pop one as your insurance policy that you are getting everything your body needs to function optimally.

Make yourself a priority! Remember: if your cup is empty, you cannot fill anyone else’s. If you don’t take care of yourself regularly, you won’t be able to provide adequate care for anyone else.

The Secret Code of Success!

I’m lucky enough to work with some of the leaders in the fitness business!  Trainers like Alwyn Cosgrove, Rachel Cosgrove, Nick Herold, Meika Louis -Pierre , Cecily Walker Rob and Shannon Yontz and countless others!  This is a great honor, but can be very overwhelming!  When you get these people into one room, like we were in this past January, there’s a LOT of “trainer talk” that truthfully, isn’t a language I speak fluently!  I prefer looking at fat loss and weight loss and helping our members from addressing mindset and learning from those who have gone before me.  One of my responsibilities is to take what I learn from these incredible trainers and adapt it to Ellipse Fitness—which is all group exercise programming!  I leave the specific work out development to the pros, and adjust and adapt for Ellipse Fitness!  Sometimes I wonder if I should get another certification, degree, etc…

Set A Goal!

However, Alwyn Cosgrove reminds me often about the turning point in his career.  He’s often quoted as saying the a high point in his career came when he realized that everything he needed to know about the fitness profession, training people and running a business was already out there.
  All he had to do was read it or listen to it. Then he started to invest in his education and never stopped.

Isn’t that GREAT news?!? I sure think so!  As long as I keep learning and not become closed minded about this industry, I can continue to learn and lead Ellipse in the right direction—WITHOUT needing to focus all my energy on one area, such as creating abdominal programming for fat loss, or body building for the elite athlete, etc!

I have to say, when it comes to classes and group exercise, Ellipse Fitness is definitely leading the industry!  When it’s time to find a success story, it’s a matter of walking out on the fitness deck and asking around!  There’s ALWAYS someone in class with a success story!  And generally, they’re going to point to a coach or even another member that inspired them!  Remember, having a coach or a mentor isn’t a weakness!

“All wealthy top achievers have coaches”
– James Malinchak

So it strikes me that that the team atmosphere could be a key to the success of our members!  It isn’t that the workouts are magical (although they’re AWESOME), or that the weight loss program is a new concept to the industry (it’s actually quite simple and practically guaranteed that when you stick to it, it WORKS!).  Perhaps the magic at Ellipse is in the coaching!

You see coaches help with a lot of things . Most goal setting programs work something like this (from the book: The Secret Code of Success):

1.           Set goals (know what you want and be specific)

2.           Take action towards your goals

3.           Evaluate the progress

4.           Adjust the path based on your evaluation

Take action on your goals!

So this week, I’m encouraging you to find a coach or mentor, someone who has walked in the path ahead of where you are and get accountable to them!

Discuss where you are on your path and plan a follow up!  These short term goals and follow ups can and will lead to long term success!  Let me know how you’re doing and who your coach is!  I’m excited to hear YOUR success story in the coming months!

Stop looking in the Rear View Mirror!

I’ve been reflecting a lot on 2010 over the last month.  No doubt it’s been a crazy year in my life, personally and professionally.  This time of year is always a great time to consider your goals for the next 12 months, but I was focusing on 2010 to help me set my goals for 2011.  This can be good and bad.  My grandma used to say “if you don’t know where you’ve been, you’ll never know where you’re going.”  This was usually followed by a great story about the “old days”.  That’s GREAT advice, too, however, I found that I was also getting hung up on what went wrong in 2010 and was using that to set my 2011 path.

Look forward.... Not back...

So, a good friend suggested I stop looking in the rear view mirror!  More Great Advice!  I read a blog written by an amazing colleague, Alwyn Cosgrove, who discussed a “process goal”.  This is a goal that’s not necessarily an “outcome goal” like, I will lose 10 pounds by March 1st, but it’s a simple “do this” goal that I can make constant progress towards.  My process goal is to workout at least 4x a week.  My schedule is hectic and I’m not teaching as much, but this is a goal I can accomplish and will keep me on the path of good health.  I’ll keep these workouts INTENSE, so my time is WELL SPENT!

I have A LOT of goals for 2011, but I know from experience that many of us try to accomplish all of our goals too quickly and we end up sabotaging our efforts.  Alwyn actually spoke to this subject, too.  He suggests a “goal snowball”.

1) List five or six behaviors you need to improve or change to reach your goals. What do you need to be doing that you’re not doing? What bad habits do you need to kick? What good habits do you need to instill?

2) List these things from easiest to hardest.

3) “Maintain” all your other goals and focus your attention on the first thing on your list (the easiest one.) Spend two weeks just focusing on achieving that goal so that it becomes a habit.

4) Once that change has been made and ingrained, move up to the next item on your list and focus your efforts there.

I’ve created a plan, a “path” so to speak for 2011.  It’s personal and professional and my list is long, but, I BELIEVE it’s accomplishable (is that a word?!?)!  Have you laid your path?  I suggest you do.  And share them with a support person who will keep you accountable.  I’ll be blogging a lot more in 2011, so stay tuned.  I’m using my blog as a way to journal my path, it will include personal and business and fitness related topics, but I hope you can pull something from a few that will enhance your path in 2011.

Happy New Year!  Please share your goals below in comments, as WRITING them down is KEY!